Loopback recording not at same quality for new laptop

My colleague designed an Audacity recording approach taking sound recordings from Edge (read aloud). He handed the development work to me with instructions which included using:
Playback device: inbuilt speakers
Recording device: inbuilt speakers (loopback)
Then Normalising tool and the Noise Reduction tool.

When I recorded on my own machine, I found that the sound quality was fantastic (between +0.5 and -0.5, minimal background noise, crisp) and I could use the exported wavs without any processing. I have been slowly updating his set of recordings with my cleaner ones. His had more background noise, and sounded boxy.

I have just been given a new laptop on an interstate work trip and I no longer seem to have the dreamy life anymore and now my recordings also sound boxy, with considerable background noise and come in with peaks of approx between -0.1 and +0.1). Sadly, I left my old laptop with our IT team so I can’t do a like for like comparison of settings.

What can I try to get the cleanest recording with minimal post production?



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