Re: VLC - Speaker Issue
If you have the volume nearly maxed out and are using VLC it certainly can cause sound distortion and possibly can even damage the integrated speakers on your system. I understand that VLC player has its uses and is generally easy to use with different types of sound files, but if you must use it I suggest keeping the volume turned low while doing so.
At this point I suggest choosing another player and testing to make sure that the speakers aren't damaged already. It could well just be VLC player at this point and the speakers are fine. If you notice that regardless what player that you use, sound is still distorted please feel free to send me a private message (just click on the link in my signature and then click start conversation) and in your message include the service tag of your notebook.
Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices