I really enjoy my HD280s. Bass is deep and vivid, mids and highs are well-detailed.
But there's something disappointing about them. I can't just put them on my head and go out. Isolation is not that good, subway noise isn't blocked, and overall construction looks bulky and oversized.
Okay, I've tried some in-ears like Klipsch S2, Creative Aurvana In-Ear 3, Etymotic HF5, Apple In-Ear with Comply foam tips, even UE triple-fi 10 — nope. No satisfaction. Klipsch are all about bass and totally screwed from lower mids and up, Aurvana lack highs, HF5 sound weird at all, Apple's armatures are somewhat decent, but not enough, and triple-fi... Well, headache. I don't remember how they actually sound, but I don't like them.
Though I really liked Head-Direct RE0. They lack bass, but overall sound quality is surprising. Build quality — nope. Feels cheap and fragile.
I'd really like to get something close to RE0, but with build quality as in, for example, Ety HF5, slightly more bass and a remote control for iPods/iPhones. Yeah, I don't need those bulky portable amplifiers, so iPhone 5/5S should match.
For music reference, I like Royksopp's Senior — this album sounds gorgeous on HD280s and totally loses its beauty when no bass and no highs are present. Amon Tobin's Foley Room and ISAM — insane resolution on highs. And Jami Sieber's 6 O'clock News must sound deep and frightening with no emphasis on upper bass.
Is there on Earth any IEMs fulfilling that request?
The price goes up to $300-400. Maybe more, but then those IEMs must be the best of the best of the best (of the best).