Audio is ruined after exporting

This seems to be an issue that just popped out of nowhere for me last night, and it’s still there. I use a PX21 Turtlebeach Headset as a mic to record audio for videos I make, and I (of course) use Audacity to record my voice for said videos.
When I play the audio back in the actual program, it sounds perfectly fine. After exporting though, it sounds terrible when I play it in Quicktime. I’m assuming this isn’t my mic since again, it sounds great in Audacity, but when I export to a .wav it sounds really bad. I tried all different types of file formats and different export settings, using the noise removal option, everything, but it’s not working at all. There’s an echo and a buzz sound for some reason, and I can’t get rid of it for the life of me.
Also for some reason, it also sounds bad in Quicktime. When playing the exact same .wav file in iTunes or VLC, it sounds perfectly fine just like in Audacity. Why is this?

I use Audacity 2.0.5. I attached a sample file with this post for reference, just in case.

Perhaps a little quiet, but sounds fine here. It must be something to do with the player. Check that the player is not adding any effects or “enhancements” to the sound.

Here it is coming back with gentle volume boost.

Also you might listen to these short clips.

Pay particular attention to the LR thing. If my voice is not surgically correct coming out of the left and right speakers, then your machine is messing with the sound.


The audio is still coming out bad when I play the version you gave. I checked to see if the program has any effect on it through the settings, but nothing.
If it helps, it also plays well in my video editing software, just like it does in Audacity, but then when the video is exported it goes back to bad. Same goes for after it’s uploaded online.

Have you ever used Soundflower?

It’s a free program that allows you to record what’s playing on your Mac. It’s the Mac version of “Stereo Mix” on Windows machines and it’s a good way to record, for example, a YouTube sound clip.

It’s also a good way for you to record your distortion so we can hear it.

Record the distortion and post a short bit of it on the forum. Or, if you have access to a file posting service, post a longer sample there. WAV is good. You can also, in this case, export an MP3 as long as it’s very high quality, 250 or higher for a stereo clip.


Use show sound that’s easily recognizable. It does no good, for example, to use a fuzz guitar performance as an example of extreme distortion. The guitar is naturally distorted. How would we know?


I attached a soundflower recording of what I’m hearing on my end.

iTunes uses QuickTime. It does not seem to be an Audacity fault if the Audacity export plays OK in VLC.

Does the file sound bad in QuickTime if you play it through the built-in sound device?

Open Finder, Go > Utilities then open “Audio MIDI Setup”. Check what sample rate and bit depth you have the headset output set to. Try something simple like 44100 Hz 2ch 16-bit.


I’m a new user of Audacity.

I have exactly the same problem.
I’m using the new Rode NT1 mic
A Focusrite 2+2 preamp
Sony MDR 7506 headphones

Basically, all very good gear.

But an old computer… a Packard Bell Easynote TR87

When I’m recording, it all sounds wonderful.
Then I export…and playback… it sounds crap… nothing like what I recorded…everything sounds different. :frowning:

My thought was that my computer sound card is just too old to replay the quality of the Audacity programme.
Then I tried it with my friends, top quality, brand new, all singing and dancing computer…
And guess what… exactly the same…

I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t have wasted my money on a home studio… and just go to a pro studio to get my recordings.
Because this system…Audacity + home studio really doesn’t work.

I’m not a techno geek…just an ordinary guy…who does voice-overs as a hobby/living.
I would love to hear your comments.
Best of all happinesses…

And what problem is that, exactly? If VLC plays the files and they sound OK there, it is not an Audacity problem.

And you are on Windows, not Mac.

Please begin by confirming you have the latest 2.1.3 version of Audacity from Audacity ® | Download for Windows. Please see the pink panel at the top of the page for how to check your Audacity version.

What format are you exporting to? If you are exporting to a lossy format like MP3, then you are getting what you asked for - quality degradation as the quid pro quo for small file size. Try exporting to WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM and ensure the project rate bottom left of Audacity is 44100 Hz. WAV is lossless, but files are larger. The maximum possible file size for a WAV is 4 GB.

Headphones do not sound the same as speakers. “Everything sounds different” does not help us understand what the differences are that concern you.



Something is trying really hard to process your voice. That’s what it sounds like with extreme Environment Processing or Noise Reduction. Gargly, bubbly and talking into a wine glass is the signature sound.

And you’re on a Mac…

Or I’m assuming you’re on a Mac. You didn’t tell us your OS when you posted the original message. You posted in the Mac forum.

When playing the exact same .wav file in iTunes or VLC, it sounds perfectly fine just like in Audacity.

Which QuickTime? It’s valid to have two different QuickTimes on your machine. I use QT7 Pro and QuickTime 10 Player. I don’t entirely trust QT10. It’s a stripped-down, defanged QuickTime. It’s fuzzy-warm® and missing some of the earlier tools.


Even odder because when iTunes plays something, it goes over to the shelf, picks up QuickTime and uses that to play the work. They’re not separate.

There is one really unusual post that happens every so often. Somebody posts a bogus problem for fun.


Hi Gale. Thank you very much for responding to my post.

Yes, apologies, I didn’t explain my problem very well.
I decided to do voice-overs about 6 months ago.
I researched what equipment to buy, best value, quality, etc.
Last month I downloaded Audacity, so I believe I have the newest version.
As I posted, I’m not well-versed in this technology, so I’ve been watching endless youtube tutorials on how to use it.
At present, I’m recording demo’s to post on my website.
I only import WAV files as advised.

I am extremely happy with the Audacity programme and I really want to continue with it.

A few days ago I completed the demo’s and exported them to my computer (I have checked as you said and it is 44100 HZ)
Using the headphones I recorded with, I replayed the demo’s and was shocked at what I heard.

Firstly, it was very ‘bassy’, far more than the playback in Audacity.
Secondly, the backing and vocal tracks were of a different volume. (the backing track drowned out the vocal)
Thirdly, the effects I added, compression, eq, normalise, limiter (which sounded fantastic in Audacity) sounded tinny and amateurish on playback.

I’ve spent the weekend trying to ‘play’ with the setup and I really can’t see what I’m doing wrong. And yes, I’m using VLC as the playback.
As I posted, it seemed logical to me that the problem lay with my computer, being too old, with an old soundcard.
So I’ve ordered a new computer!

I hope I’ve explained the situation better!
Thank you once again for any assistance.

That poster finished with the topic 3 1/2 years ago. That’s the problem users joining someone else’s old topic.


Not what we wanted to hear. If you can’t confirm you have 2.1.3 from Audacity ® | Downloads it just makes it harder to help you. Some Audacity versions on the web are fake versions designed to harm your computer.

You are probably just wasting your time by doing that. YouTube Tutorials almost never say what Audacity version they refer to, and you don’t apparently know yourself what version you have. That’s if the tutorials are not plain wrong, which of course some are.

Of course there are a few good YouTube tutorials, perhaps not directly about Audacity but a related task. If Forum Crew or Staff link to such a tutorial on this Forum, it’s worth a look if it is relevant to what you are trying to do.

You should get 2.1.3 from Audacity ® | Download for Windows and your main reference should be our Manual

Do you mean you export WAV files from Audacity?

Are you referring to downloading files from your site which you already uploaded there?

I doubt a new computer will make any difference, if you were happy with the sound of the Audacity recordings played in your headphones in Audacity. Do these headphones have a 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch TRS plug or are they USB headphones?

Are you sure your site or the web player you are using supports upload of WAV and does not convert to MP3?