In a recent survey of nearly 3,000 Pro Tools users, around 10% said they checked their mixes on earbuds, a higher number than those who said they used a subwoofer.
The largest number was the use of near field monitors with around 40% saying they used either one or multiple pairs when checking their mixes.
These results are most likely to be a refection of the changing face of the recording industry, in terms of budgets, size of rooms and changes in final listening medium such as iPods, phones and laptops.
It's not a new thing to check mixes on 'crappy' devices, for many years sound engineers would have a boom box in their studio or a car stereo. Furthermore the speakers like Aurotones were used to represent lo-fi speakers.
One thing is for sure, with such diverse listening tests there's no chance of mastering engineers being out of work anytime soon.