We think the RCA FSP200's clamshell portable stereo speakers look really cool. This $39.95 (MSRP) powered speaker set boasts useful features such as tone and volume controls and a retractable cable with a gold-plated miniplug. Powered by four AA batteries or an optional AC power adapter, the gunmetal-silver plastic FSP200 folds to protect the speakers and save space. With the speakers tucked in, it measures 6 by 4 by 1.8 inches and it feels nicely put together.
So far, so good--but when we hooked up our iPod and listened to the FSP200, we weren't at all happy. The sound was thin, anemic, harsh, and crude, and that was with the tone control set to Low. When we switched over to the Hi position, the sound was even worse; our telephone's answering machine sounds better. Bass? Forget about it; there isn't any bass at all. We doubt RCA's FSP200 will win any awards for sound quality. Sony's slightly more expensive sounds somewhat more refined, and it's smaller and more portable. But for much improved sound, you'll have to look elsewhere.