Experiencing different sound qualities when Audacity window is minimised vs when the Audacity window is up

Hi guys, I wonder if any of you are having the same problem and if you would be able to help me out a bit.

I’ve been making music by creating tracks on with a notation software, exporting them as .wav and importing them onto Audacity for EQ and reverb editing and other stuff, and there had never been a problem. This morning I opened up Audacity to continue making music and realised it sounded a bit off, then I tried closing the Audacity window WHILE I was playing the tracks, and a second later the sound quality went back to normal. When I opened the window again the weird sound quality was there again, and I need the original sound quality for editing my tracks. I tried reinstalling my audio driver to no avail (it’s Realtek High Definition Audio). I would describe the weird sound quality as being muffled, somehow bassy and not as “wide” and echoy.

In fact this always happens when I play my compositions through different audio players like Foobar2000, Groove Music and even the classic Windows Media Player, and it has never happened on Audacity before. As soon as I close the audio player windows the sound quality goes back to normal, I would’ve done that if I hadn’t had to make music INSIDE the program. This is bugging me a lot…

Please help!!! Thank you!!!

Topic moved to Windows board.

Check the settings in the Windows Sound Control Panel.
Note also that Realtek drivers sometimes have their own control panel which may apply effects.
If any effects are enabled in either control panel, turn them off.