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VLC Media Player is one my favourite players. When I had a talk with my friends, they said that it will make damage with laptop speakers. They claim that VLC uses some boosting techniques that is behind the issue. Is it true?

Edit: After reading the answers.

It is better not to use VLC in laptops :( . Folks, can you please suggest any alternative to VLC.

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No it's not. Ask them to show you a source of this information that contains facts, someone else that just repeats the statment does not count. – Nifle Sep 19 '11 at 6:32
@Nifle if you haven't experienced any issues with VLC, your sound driver is smart. That's not the case with everyone. See my answer.. – Evil Angel Sep 19 '11 at 7:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Any physical hardware/machine's practical capabilities are less than theoretical. For example, you can't speed up a bike to full speedometer's highest scale. If you do, something will go wrong.. You can't transfer data with 60MBps via USB 2.0 port. If you force, something will go wrong.. Same thing applies to speakers too. VLC Media Player crosses the practical limit which leads to reduction of speaker lifespan as well as quality. Laptop speakers are affected quickly.

BTW, The blame shouldn't be given to VLC Media Player directly. VLC Media Player is an application software which can't damage hardware. It simply uses interfaces given by device drivers. If your sound driver restricts applications at practical limit, you are safe to go even with 400% volume in VLC Media Player. Despite this fact, some vendors like HP fight against VLC Media Player. Here's a statement by HP: “the laptop will not cover under warranty if its identical that the diagonse report finds the user used the VLC player.” So, be careful while using VLC Media Player on Laptops.

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Where is the proof for your statement by HP? As far as I could find out, this is restricted to India (?). It would be nice to have an official link. – slhck Sep 19 '11 at 7:46
@slhck - The closest fact I have found is some bloger who reports that a HP representative on the phone told this to one of his friends. So it's at best anecdotal, third removed... – Nifle Sep 19 '11 at 7:52
Its not an official statement.. it was said by an officer of HP India which made a news buzz.. – Evil Angel Sep 19 '11 at 7:56
@Sachin Shekhar : Which is the best software to replace VLC Media Player. – Rauf Sep 19 '11 at 8:28
@Mraufk - you don't need to replace VLC - it is one of the most flexible media players out there. Just don't turn the volume up above 100% - use external powered speakers or headphones if you need higher volume – Rory Alsop Sep 19 '11 at 8:57

What is true for VLC is actually true for many audio applications - if you turn the volume up loud you can damage the speakers. It isn't a boost so much as a de-restriction.

Simple solution - same guidance as for anything - don't crank it up over loud. If you want loud volume from a laptop you need external powered speakers.

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You can experience by yourself that other audio applications aren't capable of boosting sound like VLC Media Player do.. so, its not true for other audio applications... – Evil Angel Sep 19 '11 at 8:53
@Sachin - it is true for some, yes. Many laptops are designed with poor constraints such that the speakers can be damaged by high volumes from any application. VLC allows the user more control than most apps, sure, but it isn't unique. – Rory Alsop Sep 19 '11 at 8:56
I've used almost all popular media players and found this feature unique to VLC Media Player. However, if you know some less-popular media players capable of doing this, please let me know. I always look for an alternative of VLC media player to play low-volume-recorded audios/videos. – Evil Angel Sep 19 '11 at 9:07

VLC has three places to set sound levels; a boost setting in preferences, the volume control on the equalizer and the main volume control. You also have the volume control on the system. The point is: Don't set any of these so that the speakers are driven to distortion and they will not be damaged. Speaker damage comes from operator error.

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Piece of Cake. At the bottom of the player that is a tab called "show extended settings"; looks like a mixing sound board. After opening the extended settings, open audio effect. On the far left there is a preamp adjustment/slider than if you increase will greatly increase your sound.

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