I don't understand why these get all this negative feedback from a lot of people? It's not like anyone pretends they are the end all, be all of in-ear headphones. Neither are they that expensive, here in Norway you can normally grab them for 199 NOK, about 22 USD.
The sound quality isn't that bad for the price if you ask me. I can't seem to remember listening to anything for under 60-80 USD that have sounded any better? My Westone UM3X and 4R blow them completely out of the water of course, but they are infinitely more expensive.
The major drawback with the EarPods are the fact that they don't offer and isolation whatsoever. And they start to sound rather muffled (like all in-ear solutions at that price point) if you crank the volume too high which is needed if there is too much noise around you while using these.
Other than that they are pretty capable, dear I say awesome considering the price? My girlfriend don't use anything else, even though I have offered her my Westone UM3X simply because she hates the feeling of having something sealed inside her ear. She does not like the "vacuum" feeling she gets inside her head when having both ears sealed and she starts to itch like crazy if there is something too deep within her ear canal for more than a few minutes. She have tried my Westone UM3X with everything from silicon, to foam tips but nothing will do.
She loves the EarPods for the simple fact that they don't seal, nor do they go deep within hear ears at all and she loves them for it. And compared to other solutions we have tried (the previous Apple in-ear headphones, various from Sennheiser that don't need to me inserted into the ear canal) these new EarPods have offered the best audio quality of the bunch and the microphone is awesome as well, it easily beats the one on the EPIC cable from Westone, the built-in ones on my B&O BeoPlay H7 etc...