I want to upgrade from my K701's and K550's however I wanted to know where to upgrade to. I want the HD800 but i want to know if there is a headphone in between the HD800 and the K701.
Its darker and sweeter, more natural sounding. K701 has wider soundstage but the HE500's have better imaging and definition. I like the bass on the K70x's but the he500's have more and it is better balanced. The treble on the HE500's is very good, no peaks and is very smooth
This is actually for my friend. He has a Schiit Asgard and a E17 and he is content with that for his 701s. He might be getting a bifrost soon though.
The HE-5LE are closer to, and more of an improvement upon, the K701 than are the 500. The latter are rolled off in the treble, and will not give you the HF extension that you may have gotten used to with the AKG. I think the 5LE also offer a larger, more 3-dimensional soundstage, too.
We are in the same boat my friend. I am very fond of my K701s. However, I am looking to upgrade to HE-500 (most likely). Like someone said above, it really depends what are you looking in a new headphone.
Personally I believe that an HE-500 (twice the price), would be the best upgrade for me from what I am looking to get as a desired sound. A very important thing is to have a good amp and dac once you have already decided to go for cans like these.
A lyr and bifrost should be an excellent choice I suppose, that is why i decided to get them in the first place.
The K701 is an excellent headphone. I doubt there is much in the way of "upgraded" sound available, mostly just differences in sound signature- more bass, less highs, more mids, etc. You have to find the sound signature you prefer most, this is why so many here have several headphones.