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Hifiberry Digi+ sounds bad than HDMI

My setup is as follows:

1. Raspberry Pi 3B
2. Hifiberry Digi + 
3. Onkyo stereo amp
4. USB storage attached
5. NorthPada Power Supply AC Adapter 5V 3A

Player software is Moode Smile

For many months, I had been using Optical toslink from Hifiberry to the amp. Everything was working fine.

Recently instead of optical, I directly connected to Pi via HDMI and the output from the amp was so impressive!!

I had another amp to test and realized that it is consistent that HDMI output is superior in terms of clarity & overall power and is lively.

With all setting same, the sound from Hifiberry is weak & flat as compared to HDMI. What could be the reason for this?
I was expecting the other way round and that was why I bought the HAT  Tongue

I mostly use Moode with not much variation, the equalizer is turned off in both cases and the volume from Moode was kept same.

What could be the reason for this? Is there something I messed up?

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