Hm,m. I actually do think that listening on different systems and types of devices is helpful. I’m thinking it’s not fair to say that cuz someone’s listening on, say, crappy headphones or a cruddy boombox, it’s on them and is not a reflection of the mix.
If I’m listening on cheap speakers, it sounds cheap cuz my speakers are cheap and I know that; however, my ears can adapt to crappy speakers and if it’s a good mix it can still sound good in my head. A buddy years ago told me that our ears are the most perfect sound system, cuz they adapt. That said, the raw mix still has to be good. When I listen to stuff that’s mixed by professionals who know what they’re doing (well, I’m not suggesting that all professionals know what they’re doing OR that only professionals know what they’re doing. But you know what I mean!), the “mix” still sounds good on my crappy headphones. The headphones sound crappy, but the mix sounds great. When I mix my stuff, if the mix is off, I can listen on those same headphones and what I experience is that not only are my headphones crappy, but my mix is crappy too. My ears as a sound system can’t adapt to that. It’s just a crappy mix, and I couldn’t hear it on my monitors. A good mix should hold it’s own (for the most part) even if heard on inferior systems. A good mix should generalize to a wide array of listening environments; after all, most people will not be listening to my mix on my monitors in my studio. If they were, yowza, I’d be golden!
But what do I know?
Anyway, on another note, there are some plugins and impulses out there that allow you to listen to your mix “kind of” as if it were on another system. Heck that’s what Abbey Roads Studio and the NX stuff does. Here’s an impulse of an auratone that’s actually pretty cool. Not perfect, of course, but helpful, I think.
Simulate a mix through an Auratone speaker
Here’s a link from Cambridge music that has another link to an auratone impulse, along with other recommendations. It also has a few comments on the shortcomings of the auratone impulse thing. Good stuff.