Sudden poor quality with stereo mix


I have an issue with the sound quality when recording with Audacity using stereo mix. The recording sound seems a bit “muffled”, while the sound coming out of my speakers during recording is of good quality.

I’ve been using stereo mix on Audacity with very good quality for years, but this problem has appeared three times in recent months. I think I have found what triggers it: connecting another audio device other than my jack speakers. The first two times, the problem appeared after I connected a TV via HDMI, and the third time after I used a headset/microphone for Discord. The first time, the problem resolved itself after a few months. The second time, I ended up reinstalling Windows to make it work. I am on the third time and I am looking for a more practical solution than reinstalling Windows.

I have already tried several solutions and done some testing:

  • I disabled all audio enhancements in the Windows audio settings (for speakers and stereo mixing).
  • I disabled the microphone input to avoid interference.
  • I uninstalled and reinstalled the audio driver (Realtek audio), I also updated it.
  • I tried replacing the Audacity settings that I usually use (MME Host - Stereo Mix Input) with Windows WASAPI Host and Speakers (Loopback) Input, the sound still appears muffled.
  • I tried playing an old, good-quality audio file with Audacity, the sound does NOT appear muffled.

My PC model: ASUS TUF705DT

Does anyone have an idea to solve the problem?


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