A React.js wrapper for howler.js (audio player)

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A React.js wrapper for howler.js (audio player).
ReactHowler has no UI, you have to provide your own UI.
Props can be passed to control playback and react to events such as end, load, play, ...
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LICENSE MIT js-standard-style npm dependencies
howler.js is an audio library for the modern web. It defaults to Web Audio API and falls back to HTML5 Audio.
npm install --save react-howler
import React, { Component } from 'react'
import ReactHowler from 'react-howler'

class App extends Component {
  // This sound file may not work due to cross-origin setting
  render () {
    return (

For a full working example please see it in App.js
Demo or
git clone
npm install
npm run example:react
open http://localhost:3000
Prop | Default | Description ---- | ------- | ----------- src | | The sources to the track(s) to be loaded for the sound (URLs or base64 data URIs). These should be in order of preference, howler.js will automatically load the first one that is compatible with the current browser. If your files have no extensions, you will need to explicitly specify the extension using the format property.
Updating the src prop on the fly will destroy any currently playing howler instance and create a new one with the new src. Updating other props while keeping the src the same will maintain the current howler instance. preload | true | Set to true to begin downloading the audio file if it is not loaded yet. playing | true | Set to true or false to pause or play the media.
Setting to true on initial load will play the audio immediately after it is loaded loop | false | Set to true or false to enable/disable loop mute | false | Set to true or false to mute/unmute current audio volume | 1.0 | The volume of the specific howl, from 0.0 to 1.0 rate | 1 | The initial playback rate (speed) html5 | false | Set to true to force HTML5 Audio. This should be used for large audio files so that you don't have to wait for the full file to be downloaded and decoded before playing. format | | howler.js automatically detects your file format from the extension, but you may also specify a format in situations where extraction won't work (such as with a SoundCloud stream). xhr | {} | When using Web Audio, howler.js uses an XHR request to load the audio files. If you need to send custom headers, set the HTTP method or enable withCredentials (see reference), include them with this parameter. Each is optional (method defaults to GET, headers default to null and withCredentials defaults to false). For example:
<ReactHowler src="sound.webm" xhr={{ method: 'POST', headers: { Authorization: 'Bearer:' + token, }, withCredentials: true, }} />
onPlay | noop | Called when audio starts or resumes playing onPause | noop | Called when audio is paused onVolume | noop | Called when volume is changed onStop | noop | Called when audio is stopped onLoad | noop | Called when audio is loaded (buffered) onLoadError | noop | Called when an error occurs whilst attempting to load media onEnd | noop | Called when media finishes playing onSeek | noop | Called when the sound has been seeked. The first parameter is the ID of the sound. onSeek(id) onPlayError | noop | Called when the sound is unable to play. The first parameter is the ID of the sound and the second is the error message/code. onPlayError(id, errorCode)


Get the duration of the audio source. Will return 0 until after the load event fires.
  • id: Number optional The sound ID to check. Passing an ID will return the duration of the sprite being played on this instance; otherwise, the full source duration is returned.


When preload is true this is automatically called. When setting preload to false, you can call load() manually before playing sounds (useful for lazy loading large files on slow networks). If you attempt to play a sound that's not loading or loaded with preload react-howler will automatically call load().
Tip: If you're calling load() manually, check the load status with howlerState()


Get/set the position of playback for a sound.
  • seek: Number optional The position to move current playback to (in seconds).


Check the load status of the Howl, returns a string unloaded, loading or loaded.
This is an alias for Howler's state() function


Stops playback of sound, resetting seek to 0.
  • id: Number optional The sound ID. If none is passed, all sounds in group are stopped.

rate(value, id)

Speeds up/down an audio playback. Calling with no arguments will reset all howls to default rate.
  • value: Number optional The playback rate. If empty, will default to 1.
  • id: Number optional The sound ID. If empty, all sounds in group get updated.

Other howler.js methods

If you need to use other howler.js methods that are not included in this wrapper you can access the howler instance directly via howler
import React, { Component } from 'react'
import ReactHowler from 'react-howler'

class App extends Component {
  getHowler () {

  getDuration () {

  getSeek () {

  setSeek () {
  // This sound file may not work due to cross-origin setting
  render () {
        ref={(ref) => (this.player = ref)}
Howler global core methods
Howler global methods are avaiable in window scope. Please refer to howler's documentation
window.Howler.mute(true) // Mute all sounds
This project uses standard code style.
npm run lint
Audio files in examples


Taken from howler.js demo page Sound file direct link: sound.ogg


Fingerstyle Bass line over an Am chord progression By Serolillo (Own work) CC BY 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons