Unexplained distortion while recording

Hi,
I have a problem with recording system sound on Windows 7. It’s not exclusive to Audacity, all software I try using produces the exact same issue - but I decided to ask here since it seems like a good place.
The problem in question is that whenever I record system sound the result is always echoing and slightly distorted - enough for it to be annoying and in need of fixing. The microphone and speakers don’t play a part in this, I’ve checked.
Any fix would be greatly appreciated, I’ve been struggling with this for months.

Here is an example in form of some square waves.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/17RZqra … n9JRm/view - Raw file
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1da_2De … dkeKR/view - Recording

It’s a reverb “audio enhancement” either from Windows
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/topic/disable-audio-enhancements-0ec686c4-8d79-4588-b7e7-9287dd296f72

or the computer manufacturer …

Doesn’t seem to be it; the problem is with the recording, not the speakers (which are working properly). I wasn’t able to find the microphone settings mentioned in the article - but this echo doesn’t change even if the mic is unplugged or uninstalled.

It’s not the microphone enhancements, it’s the playback enhancements that can add reverb

Checked that already; it’s always been on “none”

There can be another layer of audio enhancements, sometimes called MaxxAudio.

Where could this layer be located?

Search computer settings for the word “audio”. Dell & Lenovo have MaxxAudio

The only setting like this doesn’t do anything either. Again, my problem is with recording, not general audio.

The only other thing can think of is it’s an acoustic reverb of the room you are in :
that you are recording via the computer’s built-in microphone, rather directly from the speakers.

But if that was the case, other sounds audible in the room would be recorded,
e.g. clacking keyboard, people speaking, dogs barking, etc.

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