In 2013, Dell laptop owners starting posting reports on the forum that they had been denied warranty service on their laptop speakers because the popular VLC Media Player was installed on the laptops, and in one case it was denied because the KMPlayer was installed. The warranty remained valid on the other parts of the laptop.
It was gradually learned that Dell's Tech Support was enforcing an undisclosed exclusion of the warranty. It is normal for a warranty to have exclusions, but this was an undisclosed exclusion and owners had no way of knowing that certain media players were forbidden.
Dell Policy Some 3rd party audio software (VLC Media Player, KMPlayer) pushes our laptop speakers beyond the manufacturer specification tolerance causing crackling, or simply breaking them. The act of using VLC Player to boost the volume to twice normal (200%), beyond the manufacturer specification tolerance, voided the Dell warranty on the speakers. Dell support will not replace the speakers because this is "customer induced damage".
Bottom line: all of the information we have about this exclusion has come from reports posted on the forum and through backdoor channels. Without having anything official in writing to rely on, my advice is this. If you need to contact Tech Support about your internal laptop speakers, to be on the safe side REMOVE ALL MEDIA PLAYERS except Windows Media Player.
Regardless of warranty issues, I still advise all users of the VLC Player to not exceed 100% volume level for extended periods, when playing through a laptop's small internal speakers. It would also be a good idea to install the latest version of VLC Player (2.2.1). Its volume range now only goes up to 125% (the original player went up to 400%), so it looks like the developers of the player have made it much safer for laptops.
Jim Coates -- 16 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04