Audio tag in HTML | Explained

HTML5 provides an <audio> tag to add audio files to websites. Adding multimedia to any website is a remarkable way of attracting the audience and appropriate use of audio files on any website leads to a better web experience. With the help of multimedia elements like <audio> and <video>, we can add sounds and visuals to any website and we can easily play them without add-ons. Using <audio> tag we can embed an audio file on our websites in various formats i.e. mp3, Wav, Ogg.

Are you willing to learn how <audio> tag works, if yes then you have to understand the following aspects of the HTML <audio> tag:

  • The basic syntax of <audio> tag
  • Attributes of <audio> tag
  • Commonly used audio formats
  • Browser’s support for <audio> tag
  • How to use <audio> tag

Let’s get started!


The bellow-given snippet shows the basic syntax of the <audio> tag:

  • src and type are attributes of <audio> tag, we will learn about them in the attributes section.
  • Here, a key point to understand is anything we write in inside the starting <audio> and ending </audio> tags will be displayed only if the browser doesn’t support the audio file


There are some attributes that can be used in the <audio> tag as listed below:

  • controls: as the name itself suggests, it enable us to control the audio file i.e. it specifies what controls should be visible to the user e.g. play, pause, mute, etc.
  • src: determines the address of the audio file.
  • loop: it enables the looping structure i.e. audio files will be played over and over again.
  • muted: it determines whether the audio file will be muted
  • preload: it determines the author’s view about how audio file will be loaded when the webpage loads
  • autoplay: it determines the file will be played instantly


<audio> tag is a modern tag introduced in HTML5, currently, it supports three file formats i.e. “mp3”, “wav”, “ogg”.

Browser Support

Following is the list of browsers for the various audio file formats:

  • Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox support all three formats i.e. mp3, wav, ogg.
  • Internet Explorer supports only mp3 format
  • Safari supports wav and mp3 formats

How to use <audio> tag

Consider the below-given code snippet to understand how to use the <audio> tag to embed an audio file to a webpage:


<h2>Audio Tag</h2>

<audio controls>

<source src="music.mp3" type="audio/mp3">

<source src="music.wav" type="audio/mp3">

File not supported



This code performs the following functionalities:

  • We Added “controls” attribute in the <audio> tag so that a user can control the file in terms of play/pause, mute/unmute etc.
  • <source> tag help us in specifying the multiple files.

Following will be the output for the above code snippet:

Multiple file formats can be specified in the <audio> tag in such case the browser will play the first recognized source.

Let’s modify the example a little bit and add the “muted” attribute in the <audio> tag


<h2>Audio Tag</h2>

<audio controls muted>

<source src="music.mp3" type="audio/mp3">

File not supported



Now when we run the code, initially the file will be muted:

Similarly, you can use the autoplay, loop, or any other attribute according to your need.


Audio tag can be used to add an audio file to any document/website, different attributes can be used within the audio tag to perform different functionalities. If we specify the addresses of more than one audio file then the browser will attach the first file to the document. This article demonstrates what is HTML <audio> tag and how to use <audio> tag. Moreover, it provides a detailed explanation of the available audio file formats and supported browsers.

About the author

Anees Asghar

I am a self-motivated IT professional having more than one year of industry experience in technical writing. I am passionate about writing on the topics related to web development.