A woman listening to a German audio course on headphones

Learn German with Audio: 28 Effective Online Learning Tools

Learning German with audio is an effective and convenient way of mastering the language. You can listen while doing other things (like driving, exercising or taking a train), so it’s also very time-effective.

Whether you’re learning German for beginners or want some authentic listening material, we’ve got you covered with great options to learn German audio style.

So pop in those headphones and read on to learn why German audio learning can be so important. We include 28 resources, so you can learn German with audio right away!

Contents

Comprehensive German Audio Courses

German audio courses can be super effective, and you can listen to them while cooking, cleaning, driving or doing anything else really. Check out these excellent options:

1. Radio D

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Radio D is a structured audio language course designed for German beginners. You’ll learn foundational German language skills in the context of a compelling story.

Follow the main character Philipp as he travels to Berlin, meets new people and eventually embarks on a mysterious investigation with his colleague Paula.

These audio lessons also come with manuscripts, vocabulary lists and grammar exercises.

2. DeutschAkademie (GermanAcademy)

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Want a free German audio course you can listen to anywhere? Here it is.

Similar to Radio D, DeutschAkademie teaches you language through a story (yet again with a character named Philip!). You will follow Philip as he arrives in Germany and has many real-world conversations you yourself will have if you visit. You can listen on your computer or an iOS or Android device.

As a bonus, you can find lessons and exercises on pesky German cases on this site.  

3. Pimsleur

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Pimsleur is a German learning program that’s perfect for on-the-go learning. It’s ideal for anyone who spends lots of time driving in their car, because the program constantly prompts you to listen, repeat and answer. Talking to yourself on the bus might come across a little strange, but you can go ahead and do it anyway!

It’s also a pretty affordable option as you get plenty of material to work with, and there are almost always discounts for interested learners.

4. FluentU

FluentU is an excellent resource for listening practice with a video component. It teaches you the language through short clips from authentic German media including movie trailers, scenes from TV shows and news segments.

Each video comes with a transcript and interactive subtitles available in both German and English. You can hover over or click on any word in the subtitles to see its translation, part of speech and more. 

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Other learning tools such as flashcards and personalized quizzes help you learn new vocabulary while being engaged by a large variety of German videos. 

5. “All Audio German”

All-Audio German CD (LL(R) All-Audio Courses)

The “All Audio German” CD is another valuable tool for learning German in your car or anywhere you go. The six CDs focus on bringing you to fluency with short and easy-to-follow lessons. The CDs tackle areas like grammar, dialogues, culture and vocabulary.

6. Deutsch für Euch (German for You)

This channel has some great videos for beginners covering a range of topics, from how to introduce yourself to pronunciation of the German alphabet.

Head to the Playlists tab to focus on specific language concepts like pronunciation or fun stuff like German music.

7. smarterGerman

The guys at smarterGerman have some top videos aimed at advanced German learners. It’s run by professional, native-speaking language tutors.

They cover every area of the German language with a particular focus on grammar, such as in this video on the German modal verbs:

8. Polyglot Pablo: 100 Basic German Phrases Lesson

This video from Polyglot Pablo will help you work on your pronunciation. It covers 100 of the most common and basic German phrases.

It’s a great German audio lesson to put on in the background or before you go to sleep, for some of that osmosis learning.

9. The German Professor

The German Professor has videos that cover grammar topics suitable for German beginners, as well as some more advanced lessons. For some quick audio study, put on the 5 Minute German playlist.

Engaging German Podcasts and Radio Stations

Podcasts are a great way to learn German online, because you can leave them on in the background while you’re getting on with housework or cooking. There are also various ones for numerous subjects, from sports to film reviews, so you’ll surely be able to find one to suit your personal tastes!

10. Deutsch—warum nicht?

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One great podcast to start with, specifically created for German learners, is Deutsch—warum nicht? (German—why not?). This podcast is from the people at DW. Each episode follows the story of Andreas, a journalism student who also works as a hotel doorman.

The story is peppered with quick language questions and exercises. The episodes cover German for beginners to early intermediates.

11. GermanPod101

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This is an outstanding resource that’s so much more than a podcast. It’s my favorite audio to learn German, since it has beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

GermanPod101 offers hundreds of audio and video German lessons, catering to all skill levels from newbie to fluent. They come complete with interactive features like vocabulary tools, SRS flashcards, transcripts, bustling community forums and a handy app.

The videos and audios are made by professional teachers, and overall GermanPod101 is one of the most prolific and consistent German resources in the game. It teaches grammar, vocabulary, everyday conversations, real-life situations and culture. So, basically, you’ve got all your bases covered here.

If learning with podcasts is working for you, a GermanPod101 membership is highly recommended.

12. Learn German by Podcast

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The goal of this podcast is to teach you German you can use in real-life conversations. Each podcast episode offers a lesson on a different theme, some teaching specific German expressions and others teaching conversational skills like how to introduce yourself.

You can download the audio German lessons to your phone, MP3 player or computer, and they even come with PDF lesson guides if you want to sit down for some focused, active listening practice.

13. Antenne Dusseldorf

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Antenne Dusseldorf is a German radio station, but it also offers a mobile podcast app (iOS and Android) for downloading the segments to your phone.

Much of the radio station plays music, but they also go through opinionated conversations about world news, and you can check out some of the other podcasts like “Fortuna,” a show covering everything in terms of soccer (or football).

14. Schweiser Radio

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Schweiser Radio provides a gigantic list of podcasts for you to choose from, and the best part is that you can listen to most of them directly from your computer. I like grabbing the feed and inserting it into my podcasting phone app, so everything is in one place.

There are tons of options, but as a taste, you can listen to a game show called “1 vs. 100,” or even check-in with the hosts of Arena, a podcast discussing the economic climate.

15. Radio Bremen Podcasts

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This is similar to how NPR releases some affiliated talk shows, making it easy for people to choose from the subjects they want to listen to.

For example, Radio Bremen lets you select from options like the Comedy Club podcast, a place to hear jokes and laugh about the world, or the Voll im Film (Full in Film) podcast for your movie fix.

16. ARD Radio Tatort Podcast

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This podcast is a favorite, because several known voice actors lend their voices to entertain you, simulating thrilling stories that may or may not have actually happened. If you’re into thrillers, this is your podcast.

The shows usually last about an hour and feature a new story every time.

17. Braincast Podcast

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The Braincast Podcast places a hard focus on the study of the brain. It’s a show for people interested in science, as they bring on guests and experts from all over the world.

If you’re familiar with the popular RadioLab podcast, I would recommend you check this one out.

18. ListenLive

ListenLive offers a huge list of German radio stations, all streamable from your computer. This is the closest thing you can get to tuning your box radio to a station in Germany.

Choose from regional locations like Munich, Hannover or Potsdam. You can find everything from pop, top 40, news, adult contemporary and Christmas music.

19. Last FM German Music

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Last FM is your ultimate source for music produced in Germany or created by German artists. Most of the music you’ll find on here is in German, but the occasional English song is thrown into the mix. Listen to music genres like German speed metal, German jazz, rock and classical.

20. Deutschlandfunk

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How about German audio learning that feels like a newspaper? Listening to Deutschlandfunk is like checking out USA Today or The Huffington Post. Deutschlandfunk covers politics, sports, culture, the economy and more.

German Audio Lessons from MOOCs

Heard about MOOCs yet? The acronym stands for “massive open online course.” They’re often organized by colleges and universities. No matter what you’re learning, you can find a MOOC that has your subject covered, including German.

You can find a list of some German MOOCs currently available for signup at this website. Some of the best courses, though, include:

21. The Open University’s free German audio introduction to German food and drink

The Open University features a wide range of MOOCs, including German and German cultural offerings.

They also offer more typical German language MOOCs and some classes on German literature.

22. The University of Texas’s Deutsch im Blick (German in View) audio course

This is a great well rounded German course that includes both language and German culture, so you’ll get a nice healthy offering of everything German.

The University of Texas has a robust German program, so have a peek around and you’ll find classes on the German language and some on German literature as well.

23. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is known for excellent MOOC offerings and their German classes are no exception.

German, being one of the main languages of engineering and science, is given a prominent place at MIT, so you’ll find classes for scientific German and more.

Entertaining German Audiobook Resources

German audiobooks allow you to immerse yourself in a world of fantasy, science fiction or romance, all with the help of an MP3 player and headphones. Consider listening to your favorite books in German to learn something new.

24. LoyalBooks

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The LoyalBooks database consists of public domain ebooks and audiobooks, meaning it’s free to listen. Click on the German tab on the left to reveal options like “Die Elixiere des Teufels” (“The Devil’s Elixirs”), “Michael Kohlhaas” and “Der Schimmelreiter” (“The Rider on the White Horse”).

Listen directly through your computer or download the audiobooks to your device.

25. Audible Germany

Audible is owned by Amazon, so you can find most of the same audiobooks on both. Regardless, try using a VPN to access the best content on German Audible.

Listen to bestsellers like “Game of Thrones” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” all in German. Audible provides a handy app for listening on your phone or tablet.

No VPN? You can still easily find German-language content on Audible using search filters.

Catchy German Music Playlists

I enjoy compiling my own playlists, since services like Spotify and Pandora can be a little scattered. However, the greatest part of these services is that you can search for other playlists that people have created and shared online.

26. German Pop on Spotify

Start with the German Pop Spotify playlist, which is from the popular Goethe Institute, a place for German online and offline learning. This playlist includes favorites from artists like Clueso, LOT, Madsen and Ferris Mc.

It’s an exciting selection of songs, all of which experienced popularity at some point. I recommend this music if you’re trying to stay upbeat, like when you’re at the gym or while working.

27. German Folk Music on Spotify

This German Folk Music album is obviously a little different from the pop extravaganza you listened to above. This playlist is for the purists. Those who want to hear what people were listening to hundreds of years ago in Germany.

This list includes around 20 songs, starting with “Echo Der Berge” and ending with “Servus Pfuat Gott und Auf Wiederseh’n.”

28. Traditional German Music on Pandora

It’s also not a bad idea to check out other streaming services. I recommend this Pandora station—all you have to do is click on the Create Station button, and Pandora compiles a beautiful list of classic German folk songs and chants.

Every time you create a station you receive new songs, so it’s kind of fun to try it out.

Hopefully, all of these amazing German learning audio sources sound good to you. Once you start to learn German with audio, you should notice the benefits pretty much right away!

And One More Thing...

Want to know the key to learning German effectively?

It's using the right content and tools, like FluentU has to offer! Browse hundreds of videos, take endless quizzes and master the German language faster than you've ever imagine!

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Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.

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You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don't know, you can add it to a vocabulary list.

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And FluentU isn't just for watching videos. It's a complete platform for learning. It's designed to effectively teach you all the vocabulary from any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you're learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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