3 volumes: computer, player, speakers

I never really understood how to configure my computer, media player, and speaker volumes to get the least distortion from my music. I've always maxed out the computer and media player and used the lowest speaker volume possible. But I'm beginning to think that this is not right, because I shared a song with my friend and his configuration (nothing maxed) allows him to hear the song clearer than me.
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  1. The signal never gets distorted with higher volumes, only when its amplified, so itd be the amplifier that could cause the distortions, not your digital settings.
    So, amplifier source is the culprit
  2. Are you sure the speakers are always the problem? On VLC player, if you set your volume over 100% (VLC supports up to 400%), loud sounds get distorted. I think in this case, loud sounds plateau at some point because there are not enough bits to describe sounds louder than the loudest sound.
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