Zeroduke, Mitchell & Johnson didn't necessarily send them brand new, unplayed headphones. They may have been already broken in by M&J or even reviewed by one of the other reviewers first. Knowing how important break in is to M&J headphones, I wouldn't send a virgin pair out to reviewers. Would you? Nope, not betting on a reviewer having 200+ hours available to review 1 set of headphones properly. It costs far less to properly break in 10 pairs of phones for reviewers vs thousands for customers. Great reviews. I like the parts that compare the different M&J models.