The other day my airpods ran out of battery at just the wrong time. Luckily my backpack is kitted with stuff I might need, including a pair of corded earbuds. I plugged them in and put the phone on the side pocket of my backpack, which I in turn put in the basket at the back of my bike (after I'd mounted it, otherwise the cord would be caught by my leg).
It's a little fiddly to deal with a cord now that I've had airpods for almost a year. But it's a certain kind of freedom in it too. Sure, the cord can twist or get stuck somewhere. It's not perfect. Neither are airpods, to be fair. My right side airpod has issues connecting to my phone, for example. I don't know if it's software related or the result of being dropped a few times too many. Corded earbuds never have issues with connecting or syncing between the right and left. They don't run out of battery unless the phone does.
I see two major disadvantages with the corded version:
The latter is and issue with the phone in question rather than the earbuds. And the former didn't bother me back when that was all I had.
I guess there's only one issue that really needs to be solved then, and that's the phone (once I have to replace it). And I see no reason it should have a proprietary plug, or USB-C for that matter. Just give me an old-fashioned 3.5 mm headphone jack and I'll be happy.
That's not to say that I'm not happy with my airpods. They've made many things in my life simpler, but even so I wouldn't spend money on a new pair when these are worn out.
-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal