How to Add Background Audio/Music to Your Website

Learn how to add background audio or music files to your website by using the HTML <audio> element and its various attributes.

To add background music/audio on your website, you can use the HTML audio element (<audio>...</audio>).

Let’s say you have an audio file that you want to play in the background as soon as users visit your website. Here’s the general HTML code required to do that:

<audio autoplay>
  <source src="your-audio-file.wav" type="audio/wav" />

The <audio> element’s src attribute accepts both internal and external audio sources as values.

Notice the autoplay attribute. That’s required if you want the audio to start playing as soon as the user enters your webpage.

Demo: to hear an example, turn down the volume on your computer/headphones and click on this demo.

There are three supported audio formats in HTML: MP3, WAV, and OGG. In the <audio> element you specify the format in the type attribute:

File Format Media Type
MP3 audio/mpeg
OGG audio/ogg
WAV audio/wav

In this tutorial I use the WAV format, therefore I added the type="audio/wav" attribute on the element above.

Audio element attributes

The following is a handful of useful attributes that are built-in to the <audio> element, and provide you fine-grained control.

Loop background audio

To loop your background audio, you can add the loop attribute:

<audio autoplay loop>
  <source src="your-audio-file.wav" type="audio/wav" />

Mute background audio

To mute your background audio, you can add the mute attribute:

<audio muted>
  <source src="your-audio-file.wav" type="audio/wav" />

Why would you use the muted attribute? Well, you might want to disable your audio element’s audio source temporarily and switch it back on again later, without removing the entire element from your webpage.

Add control interface

To add controls (play, pause, etc.), use the controls attribute:

<audio controls>
  <source src="your-audio-file.wav" type="audio/wav" />

Now the user can click play if they want to hear your audio file.

Browser support for audio formats

  • MP3 is supported in all browsers,
  • WAV is supported in all browsers except Edge/IE
  • OGG is supported in all browsers except Edge/IE and Safari

As of July 2020.

Tip: add an extra <source> to your <audio> element as a fallback, in case that your end user uses a browser that doesn’t support your primary file format:

<audio controls>
  <source src="your-audio-file.wav" type="audio/wav" />
  <source src="your-audio-file.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />

Now if the end user’s browser doesn’t support the WAV format, it will play the MP3 source instead.

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