Why are my laptop speakers not loud enough?
"When I try and watch a movie on my laptop, the speakers aren't loud enough to hear some of the dialog. If I'm listening to music most of the time I can hear just fine, but why aren't my laptop speakers loud enough for movies?"
Feel lucky that you consider your laptop speakers loud enough for listening to music. I have yet to find a laptop with speakers I like. In general, laptop speakers are too quiet for listening to most things because they just don't have the capability of projecting the volume you need. It's a combination of cheap components and limited space combining to make seriously under performing audio in notebook and laptop computers. How to solve your laptop speakers not being loud enough is a better question.
When you combine the fact that laptop speakers are tiny with the fact that most of them are placed underneath your laptop, the result is audio that's hard to hear. There's a headphone jack on laptops for two reasons. One reason is that we all use our laptops in places where other people would get angry if we didn't use headphones. The other reason is laptop manufacturers realize laptop speakers are not loud enough to satisfy many of the ways they are used.
Option 1: Headphones
The easy solution to this problem is to simply plug some headphones in and listen with headphones. There are lots of scenarios where this isn't practical, particularly if you want to watch a movie with friends.
Option 2: External Speakers
Your other option is to invest in some external speakers. The plug in to the headphone jack on your computer to provide some added volume. If you have a permanent location, most laptops benefit from getting a 2.1 configuration with 2 full range speakers for the desktop and a subwoofer for the floor. I realize that's not practical in many laptop configurations.
A solid compromise is the screen mountable Logitech Laptop Speaker Z205. The speakers connect via USB, which provides power for the amplifier. Volume is substantially better than built-in laptop speakers, although not as loud as any of the 2.1 surround sound configurations I've tested. The great thing about the Logitech Z205 speakers is portability. You can easily stash the speakers in your laptop bag to take with you anywhere.