Get Hours of German Listening Practice (with Exercises!): 7 Top Tools to Improve German Listening Comprehension

For German learners, native German speech can resemble a high-speed train—a fast jumble of noise that zips through your ears and leaves little time for comprehension.

But with diligent listening practice, you can catch up.

You must consume all the listening comprehension tips that you can, listen to authentic German and take advantage of all the German audio resources available.

Let’s talk about some German listening exercises that can give your ears the workout they need.


Why Practice German Listening?

Listening is vital to speaking and conversing in German. The more German listening practice you get, the more your ear and your tongue will be trained to decipher German sentences and make German sounds.

Besides, even if you do well in German lessons, understanding German “in the wild” is a whole other skill. The language comes at you rapid-fire, and there often isn’t a friendly instructor to slow down and deconstruct what’s being said.

So, how can you sharpen your German “in the wild” listening skills? Hörverstehen (listening comprehensions), of course!

Listening comprehensions allow learners to listen to authentic German, and they also include questions and activities to test understanding. Best of all, many German listening practice websites include leveled exercises, so you can find ones to match your level!

Get the Most out of German Listening Practice

To make the most out of listening comprehensions, make sure to use good headphones and limit distractions such as other people and noises—and especially the internet or social media websites. This will allow you to concentrate fully on the activity and maximize your understanding.

Further, listen to the recording twice: once for the gist, the second time for details and deeper understanding.

During this second listen, feel free to write notes for specific details. These notes will help with the comprehension questions later.

7 Top Tools to Improve German Listening Comprehension

Are you ready to listen your way to German fluency? Check out the top seven websites for German listening practice!

Radio D (Deutsche Welle)


Radio D is offered by the acclaimed German media company Deutsche Welle (German Wave). Radio D is an audio course for beginners and it’s a great way to start practicing German listening if you have little or no knowledge of the language.

Each lesson with Radio D starts with a German audio clip as well as explanations in English related to grammar and vocabulary. These clips focus on beginner topics such as school, travel and shopping. The vocabulary notes offer a list of the most important vocabulary in the German listening exercises, and the grammar explanations cover common topics without going overboard on the detail.

This is also a great resource to practice German listening with transcripts, because each lesson comes with transcriptions of the audio in both German and English as well as a PDF of comprehension and grammar activities to test your understanding of the content.

Once you finish Teil 1 (Part 1), you can continue with Teil 2 (Part 2) of the Radio D audio course.


FluentU is a website and app that takes authentic German videos, such as news, commercials, talks and more, and equips them with comprehensive learner tools. This ultimately lets you hear and learn the German language as it’s used in a variety of contexts.

Every video comes with interactive German subtitles that explain the vocabulary used. Just click or tap on the word for an instant definition, grammar info, example sentences and audio pronunciation. Also included are professionally translated English captions that can be toggled on or off depending on your comprehension needs.

Any word can be saved as a multimedia flashcard, so you can create your own decks and keep track of the vocabulary that you need to practice.

You can assess your skills with personalized quizzes that include listening-based audio questions. There are also “speaking questions” that allow you to say answers out loud and practice your German pronunciation.



Deutschlernerblog is a website that has multiple resources and lessons for learners of all levels. In terms of listening comprehension, it offers five categories for different levels from beginner to advanced.

To use Deutschlernerblog to boost your listening comprehension, simply scroll down to the Hörverstehen list and choose your level (A1 is easiest, C1 is hardest). Once you’re there, exercises cover everything from basic vocabulary and simple verb conjugations to dialogues and short clips of native German audio.

Following the audio clip, each entry has comprehension questions. These range from true-and-false questions to specific questions about the topic of the audio recording if it’s grammar-based. The questions are in German too, so you’ll get a well-rounded language workout.

Learners can also download a PDF version of the questions and answers to better keep track of their progress. Further, some entries include a German transcript of the audio in the comments section of the entry.

Council of Europe German Listening Comprehension


On this website, you’ll find a selection of listening practice tests from various official German proficiency exams. This is especially useful if you’re planning to take one of those exams, such as the TestDaF.

The Council of Europe has a sampling of practice tests (from the TestDaF as well as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, National Foreign Language Exam System and ÖSD).

Each German listening test includes an audio recording as well as a PDF of the transcript and comprehension questions.

These questions range from true-or-false and fill-in-the-blank questions to short- and long-answer questions. The recordings vary in length from a couple minutes to around 15 minutes. Leaving Cert German Listening Practice


Like the Council of Europe, the website includes past materials from the German aural exam portion of the Leaving Certificate exam—the final exam in the Irish school system (also known as “Leaving Cert”).

Currently, there are nine past exams available, and their German listening comprehension components are quite extensive.

Each past Leaving Cert German aural exam includes around 14 minutes of audio. It’s comprised of four parts: an interview, phone call, a dialogue and a news segment. Each part has its own comprehension questions.

These questions are displayed on the website for each entry with the answers hidden. I suggest writing the answers to the questions down and then looking at the correct answers once the whole exam is completed. Be aware that some of the more recent exams don’t have answers provided.

Since these exams are meant to test a learner’s competence after a Leaving Cert German course, this resource is most ideal for learners who are at least at the intermediate level.

This resource also uses Welsh and English as a base language, so don’t be put off if you hear a language that’s neither English nor German during the instructional part of the recordings before the actual exams.

Your Daily German


Unlike other resources on this list, Your Daily German offers short folk tales told in German. There are seven such folk tales available currently, and they’re based on real German stories that’ve been around for centuries.

The best part of Your Daily German is that you can listen to the stories at a regular speed or a slower speed. I would suggest starting at the regular speed and then using the slower speed for stories that are particularly complex or difficult to understand.

The audio stories on Your Daily German include transcripts. This site is recommended for learners who are at least at the upper-beginner level, since the stories are told completely in German. The website allows you to access two stories a week for free, but charges a fee to keep using the website after that.



This website is entirely in German, so it’s recommended for at least upper-beginner learners.

There are four levels of listening comprehension: einfach (easy), mittel (intermediate), schwierig (hard) and schriftlich (writing response). Exercises in the first three levels (einfach, mittel and schwierig) include a video as well as built-in comprehension questions. Some videos, especially for the mittel and schwierig level, are actually full documentaries up to one hour long.

So this is a perfect resource if you’re looking for longer German listening practice audio materials.

The fourth level, schriftlich, allows learners to answer questions in a printable PDF file rather than the built-in interface. These questions include short- and long-answer questions and require more detail.

There’s one more section of listening activities called spezial (special), which focuses on listening comprehensions related to travel within Switzerland.

It’s also important to note that SchulArena is based in Switzerland and some audio recordings are done in the Swiss dialect and accent. Make sure to brush up on your Swiss German for those tests.


Alle Einsteigen (All aboard) the listening comprehension train! These German listening practice resources will help you travel seamlessly through the German language.

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