David is planning a new podcast and he wants the best audio quality he can get interviewing over regular phones. What's the best option and is there a better option than Skype?
Leo says that there is a great difference in quality from one caller to another and a plain old telephone system (POTS) was designed with the lowest quality audio possible in mind. Microphones in phones have improved, but the best idea for improving quality is to get off the phone. Skype quality is light years better. In fact, most of TWiT guests use Skype because they've been able to tweak it to improve performance. Given enough bandwidth, it sounds fantastic.
Here are some tips on how to tweak Skype like TWiT does. One thing he'll want to do is change the "echo cancellation" to avoid "gating." Here's how he can turn that off - http://thepodcastersstudio.com/skypeaudiocontrols/
JK Audio makes an interface that will make it sound as good as it can. Leo used them when he first started the TWiT network. Telos and Getner make "Hybrids," that allow both to talk at the same time (called "full duplex"). The real key though is good bandwidth and a good digital headset mic. It makes the guest sound like they're in the same room.