For all intensive purposes do not record audio through the microphone of your laptop, these microphones pick up far to much background noise and never provide any kind of reasonable quality.
A starting point is to just use the microphone attached to Apple AirPods – which will provide a clearer recording just by the fact that it will sit closer to your mouth. It also works well while on the move.
In my experience the “feel” of a podcast changes dramatically based upon the quality of the recorded audio. Some of the clear “low quality” sounding podcast generally arise when the presenters are located in the same location sharing one microphone.
So how do you choose a good microphone that has a reasonable price? Well you could head to this blog post by Marco Arment of Tumblr, Instapaper and Overcast fame.
An amazing value for the money: it sounds great for the price, and pretty decent at any price, as long as you speak up very closely to it. With USB and XLR outputs and a built-in headphone jack for USB mode, I don’t know of a cheaper or simpler all-in-one solution to recommend. Compared to other inexpensive USB mics aimed at beginners, which are usually large-diaphragm condensers, the dynamic ATR-2100 picks up far less room echo and background noise. But you have to speak up closely to it — get more than about two inches from it, and it gets very bad, very quickly.
This microphone is fantastic and provides great value for money. Tracking one of these down in Australia is its biggest down sides. I managed to grab one from my local PLE computers for $99.
So why this microphone – other than price?
Connecting to a laptop or even iPad could not be easier.
Flexible enough to connect to any professional audio equipment and cabling.
2.5mm Headphone Jack
Plugging your headphones directly into the microphone enables the ability to listen to exactly what the microphone is picking up. This actually makes a huge difference while recording.
A small stand
Easy table top setup.
Like what Marco did in his review, below I have included some example recordings I made using the internal microphones from an iPad Pro 12.9 and a MacBook Pro with also recordings made on both devices with the AT2100-USB Microphone.
MacBook Pro Internal Microphone
MacBook Pro with AT2100-USB Microphone
iPad Internal Microphone
iPad with AT2100-USB Microphone