2. Background audio - ELA Hub

In audio-only content such as speeches or podcasts make sure that any background audio is not distracting, or can be switched off.

What can I do?

If your audio-only content has background audio, i.e.  speech in the foreground and a background music track, make sure that:

  • Either the learner can control the background sound, i.e. turn it off.
  • Or the background sound is low, ideally 20 decibels lower than the foreground speech.

Better still, do not have background audio tracks. 

Note: Although the WCAG recommendation refers only to audio-only content it is equally relevant for videos with speech which have background music tracks.


  • Background audio can be distracting for all learners.
  • People who have a hearing impairment, often have difficulty separating speech from background sound.

eLaHub example

The following video clip demonstrates how background audio can make it difficult for your learners to hear and understand the audio narration in the foreground.

Video with distracting audio background track

Further information

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