Nothing but logic here but if you cup your hand behind the iPad 2 speaker, the sound is much louder for yourself. It's very useful in a quiet environment...for example I'm in bed right now and my wife is sleeping. I was trying to watch a YouTube video and had the volume at 1/16 (just first square lit up)...I could barely hear anything. Cupped my hand behind the speaker so the sound bounced off my palm and towards me and it made it what seems like 4X as loud, but only for me. Yes I could use headphone but I don't have any handy.