The positionX read-only property of the AudioListener interface is an AudioParam representing the x position of the listener in 3D cartesian space.

Note: The parameter is a-rate when used with a PannerNode whose PannerNode is set to equalpower, or k-rate otherwise.


var audioCtx = new AudioContext();
var myListener = audioCtx.listener;
myListener.positionX.value = 1;


An AudioParam. Its default value is 0, and it can range between positive and negative infinity.


In the following example, you can see an example of how the createPanner() method, AudioListener  and PannerNode would be used to control audio spatialisation. Generally you will define the position in 3D space that your audio listener and panner (source) occupy initially, and then update the position of one or both of these as the application is used. You might be moving a character around inside a game world for example, and wanting delivery of audio to change realistically as your character moves closer to or further away from a music player such as a stereo. In the example you can see this being controlled by the functions moveRight(), moveLeft(), etc., which set new values for the panner position via the PositionPanner() function.

To see a complete implementation, check out our panner-node example (view the source code) — this demo transports you to the 2.5D "Room of metal", where you can play a track on a boom box and then walk around the boom box to see how the sound changes!

// Define Web Audio API objects

var AudioContext = window.AudioContext || window.webkitAudioContext;
var audioCtx = new AudioContext();

var panner = audioCtx.createPanner();
panner.panningModel = 'HRTF';
panner.distanceModel = 'inverse';
panner.refDistance = 1;
panner.maxDistance = 10000;
panner.rolloffFactor = 1;
panner.coneInnerAngle = 360;
panner.coneOuterAngle = 0;
panner.coneOuterGain = 0;
panner.orientationX.value = 1;
panner.orientationY.value = 0;
panner.orientationZ.value = 0;

var listener = audioCtx.listener;
listener.orientationX.value = 0;
listener.orientationY.value = 0;
listener.orientationZ.value = -1;
listener.upX.value = 0;
listener.upY.value = 1;
listener.upZ.value = 0;

var source;

var boomBox = document.querySelector('.boom-box');

// set up listener and panner position information
var WIDTH = window.innerWidth;
var HEIGHT = window.innerHeight;

var xPos = WIDTH/2;
var yPos = HEIGHT/2;
var zPos = 295;

leftBound = (-xPos) + 50;
rightBound = xPos - 50;

xIterator = WIDTH/150;

// listener will always be in the same place for this demo

listener.positionX.value = xPos;
listener.positionY.value = yPos;
listener.positionZ.value = zPos;
listenerData.innerHTML = 'Listener data: X ' + xPos + ' Y ' + yPos + ' Z ' + 300;

// panner will move as the boombox graphic moves around on the screen
function positionPanner() {
  panner.positionX.value = xPos;
  panner.positionY.value = yPos;
  panner.positionZ.value = zPos;
  pannerData.innerHTML = 'Panner data: X ' + xPos + ' Y ' + yPos + ' Z ' + zPos;

// controls to move left and right past the boom box
// and zoom in and out
// only right movement code shown in this listing to save space
// look at the source code for full listing

var leftButton = document.querySelector('.left');
var rightButton = document.querySelector('.right');
var zoomInButton = document.querySelector('.zoom-in');
var zoomOutButton = document.querySelector('.zoom-out');

var boomX = 0;
var boomY = 0;
var boomZoom = 0.25;

var zoomInLoop;
var zoomOutLoop

function moveRight() {
  boomX += -xIterator;
  xPos += -0.066;

  if(boomX <= leftBound) {
    boomX = leftBound;
    xPos = (WIDTH/2) - 5;
  } = "translate(" + boomX + "px , " + boomY + "px) scale(" + boomZoom + ")";
  rightLoop = requestAnimationFrame(moveRight);
  return rightLoop;

rightButton.onmousedown = moveRight;
rightButton.onmouseup = function () {

In terms of working out what position values to apply to the listener and panner, to make the sound appropriate to what the visuals are doing on screen, there is quite a bit of fiddly math involved, but you will soon get used to it with a bit of experimentation.


Specification Status Comment
Web Audio API
The definition of 'positionX' in that specification.
Working Draft  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (Yes) No support No support (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support (Yes) No support ? ? ? (Yes)

Note: Chrome currently supports this property, whereas Firefox still supports the older method that was used to position the listener, setPosition().

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: chrisdavidmills
 Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,