I recently completed a mix of my song and it sounded really well! I am using my Behringer UM2 Audio Interface in both recording and mixing my song. However I noticed that whenever I don't use my AI anymore and would instead use my laptop's main sound driver, the quality of my song drastically changes.

I read online that AI really improve the sound quality (output) since it would support more audio wave range something (I'm not really sure what was that but I totally get the point). My question is, do you guys mix with an audio interface? I mean, the average listener doesn't use AIs to listen to music right? I'm kinda paranoid that with AI the mix really sounds good, but to the average listeners and stuffs it would sound not as good.

Any tips, suggestions? Thank you!

  • Just a small precision: did you use the same headphones/loudspeakers with the AI and the laptop sound drivers?
    – Tom
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:50
  • @Tom Yes! I'm using the same speakers. With the AI the mix sounds really full (specially on the lower ends), but without it, it kinda sounds, different/weird (sounds lighter)
    – DC37
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:51
  • 1
    Do you get the same sound change if you listen to other people's music over the same two output options?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 13:09
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    I wonder whether there are any EQ settings on either the AI or your system sound card. Anecdote: I once made a techno track in my university's computer music studio, with a subwoofer like a filing cabinet. The bass was delicious. I mixed it down and played on my dorm room CD player and suddenly the bass wasn't even there! Moral: double check on "average" equipment and adjust. Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 13:30
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    …which just goes to show - 'enhancements' are not all they're cracked up to be. :(
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


I read online that AI really improve the sound quality

Studio listening equipment shouldn't improve sound quality. Its purpose is to reproduce the sound as neutrally, as possible. If you hear a difference when using your laptop sound output, most likely the laptop colors the sound in some way.

It is indeed a concern that the consumer equipment often colors the sound, either due to poor quality, or intentionally e.g. by boosting low frequencies. And indeed it is a good idea to check the final mix (or master) on a variety of devices like laptop speakers or in a car.

However during mixing it's better to use good quality and neutral sounding equipment. This gives you the best idea of what's going on in your mix. This also gives you the best chance the best will sound good on a variety consumer devices, each of which may color the sound differently.

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