quality loss when exporting to MP3 or WAV


I am experiencing severe audio quality loss when exporting, in either WAV or MP3 format. I’m using Windows 10. I record right into Audacity, using a good mic, and the playback sounds great. As soon as I export and listen to the subsequent file the sound is fuzzy/echoy/clippy. I’ve tried everything: all the various export formats. I’m recording straight into Audacity, not importing MP3 files, so I’m assuming my recordings start out good. What’s happening? How can I get my MP3s or WAVs to have the same sound that the audio does when played directly in Audacity?


Does your recording screen look anything like this?

Blue waves taller? Shorter?


You can use Windows’ Snipping Tool to draw a box around a part of your screen and save it as a picture file.

Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.


I think my screen looks similar. I’ve attached a jpeg, and audio recordings, both in wav and mp3 format of my lousy exporting results.

The WAV file was exported in 32 bit encoding, and the mp3 with a “bit rate mode” of “constant”, at 320 kbps, with the "force export to mono box clicked.

The sound clips are short as I couldn’t upload larger files, but you can hear the clipping and the echo/scratchiness. My voice sounds about 2X clearer on the same clip in Audacity pre-export.

As soon as I export and listen to the subsequent file the sound is fuzzy/echoy/clippy.

Not in Los Angeles, it’s not. It sounds just like you with little or no distortion. Maybe the tiniest amount of fan noise in the background.

How are you listening? Can you listen on something else?

I think 10 and 11 are the same sound file (except for the name).

I think your listening/evaluation system could use work.


I don’t know that I would choose fancy file encoding, particularly if you’re having trouble. Stick with absolutely plain 44100, 16-bit, Stereo (or Mono). Once you get that working, then you can get fancy.

The 32-bit thing is the reason you couldn’t get a longer file on the forum. 16-bit, Mono will post over 20 seconds.


I like the voice. I think with a little buffing up, I could listen to a story in that voice.


Wow, you’re a life saver. I assumed that since I was hearing two different qualities from the same earphones, that the problem was the export, not the earphones. I had been using bluetooth earbuds, and when I pugged in a different set, I heard what I’ve been trying to hear for days: clear audio.

I feel like a dunce now, but thanks so much for your help!

I am not a fan of wireless headphones.


I had an audio file that played fine in the Audacity program, and fine when I exported to WAV, but when I exported to mp3 it sounded so weird and distorted you could barely hear the speaker in the audio. I realized that when I was exporting to mp3, in the export settings I had selected “force export to mono.” When I changed this to export mp3 to joint stereo, it worked fine. However I needed a mono file. So in Audacity I clicked on the name of the audio file to open up more options, selected “split stereo to mono,” which split it into to waveforms. I deleted one of them, then exported again as an mp3 forced to mono. It worked fine! So I would suggest checking if you are exporting to mono or stereo and seeing if changing it makes a difference.