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I purchased Steinberg UR22 mkII for recording purposes. While it has a 6.3mm port (for headphones, not the "Line1/2"), I bought an adapter to 3.5mm, since I don't have any 6.3 headphones yet.

I was curious, what will the sound quality be, compared to my laptop's default sound processing system, so I listened to some music from Youtube, and when the sound was going through the sound card, it was worse (distorted), than when I plug the headphones into laptop directly. I didnt expect it to be better, but not worse either.

What can be the culprit? Thank you.

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I have the same sound card, and have never experienced that it's worse in any way.

I'm guessing that you've already done this, but ensure that

  • All pots are turned all the way down, except the one labeled "Mix" which should be left all the way over to the "DAW" position.
  • Phantom power is off
  • Volume control in Windows (or whatever other OS you are using) is turned down.
  • The power switch on the back of the card is set correctly.

Once done, turn up the headphone pot and only then begin to increase the volume from your computer. If still bad, verify that it still sounds okay from the onboard card and check with a separate device. You could try with eg. a cellphone playing music into the inputs to see if it sounds okay, if not I'd return it as defective.

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