I have been asked to compare the HT2 to the Archos. I owned the HT2s for over a year and a half and I have now had the Archos for a little over a month so here goes. They present the music differently. The Archos present it more behind the plane of the speakers in a deeper wider soundfield. The HT2s are more upfront and immediate sounding. That doesn't mean they are more live sounding just less spacious.
The highs of both speakers are excellent and quite similar to me from a quality standpoint. The Archos midrange will handle more power more gracefully and this is the biggest difference between the speakers. Through the bass and midrange the Archos will really expand with the music when necessary in a way the HT2s cannot match. Simply put, the Archos play louder with greater dynamics than the HT2s.
The bass needs some discussion. I was looking for more extension from the Archos but I don't think that is the case. The HT2s actually seem to go deeper and will give you a better balanced presentation with bass shy recordings like a lot of older rock music. The HT2s are easier to place in the room, or rather are more normal. The Archos are 18" closer to the back wall in my large (33x34) room with the speakers firing across the diagonal. The backs of the speakers are still 32" out from the back wall allowing the open back midrange to provide its benefit without interference.
All that said, I much prefer the bass of the Archos. When you crank things up the Lambda woofers deliver and the speaker has a much better, if not ideal balance. It took me a little while to appreciate this, but the quality of the bass from the Archos is really outstanding. I'm still not sure of Jim's in room -3db response in the low 30hz range, but it is beautiful bass however low it goes. I may, however, explore one of the Rythmik sub-woofers.
I am using a Mccormack DNA-500 amp with a tube preamp. I tried the Red Wine Sig 30.2 amp but it simply couldn't do justice to the capabilities of the Archos in the bass. It played remarkably loud and grain-free with really beautiful vocals, but just couldn't provide the jump factor of the Mccormack beast. I don't know if that much power is required for the Archos. When I have the opportunity I will find out. I had thought it would be a no-brainer I would get a smaller amp and save a little money, but the Mccormack sounds awfully good.
Would I want my HT2s back? They are excellent speakers, but I like big band jazz and frankly judge speakers ultimately by how Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Buddy Rich sound. The Archos give me more goosebumps. They are more dynamic and better able to present the sound with clarity and authority. Definitely keepers for me.