However, the way to work around this problem is to use headphones. By doing this, you're bypassing the speakers and listening to audio from the internal sound card. The better the headphones, the better the sound you'll hear.
Granted, this means you'll be tied to the laptop (literally) by the length of the headphone cord. But if you're traveling or sitting, this is a good way to listen to audio files on your laptop. It also has the advantage of not disturbing others around you.
I always carry a set of headphones in my laptop case for travel purposes. That way I can listen music, talk radio or watch movies on my laptop without disturbing others.
So if you own a laptop, you might consider buying a set of headphones to go with it. You can usually pick up a descent set for under $30. Even Amazon.con sells them.