This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for the proper prefixes to use in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the spec changes.

The continuous property of the SpeechRecognition interface controls whether continuous results are returned for each recognition, or only a single result.

It defaults to single results (false.)


var myContinuous = mySpeechRecognition.continuous;
mySpeechRecognition.continuous = true;


A Boolean representing the current SpeechRecognition's continuous status. true means continuous, and false means not continuous (single result each time.)


This code is excerpted from our Speech color changer example.

var grammar = '#JSGF V1.0; grammar colors; public <color> = aqua | azure | beige | bisque | black | blue | brown | chocolate | coral | crimson | cyan | fuchsia | ghostwhite | gold | goldenrod | gray | green | indigo | ivory | khaki | lavender | lime | linen | magenta | maroon | moccasin | navy | olive | orange | orchid | peru | pink | plum | purple | red | salmon | sienna | silver | snow | tan | teal | thistle | tomato | turquoise | violet | white | yellow ;'
var recognition = new SpeechRecognition();
var speechRecognitionList = new SpeechGrammarList();
speechRecognitionList.addFromString(grammar, 1);
recognition.grammars = speechRecognitionList;
//recognition.continuous = false;
recognition.lang = 'en-US';
recognition.interimResults = false;
recognition.maxAlternatives = 1;


Note that continuous currently isn't implemented on Gecko, and you just single results with each recognition. For now, you can roughly emulate continuous results by just running SpeechRecognition.start() each time a result is detected, like this:

recognition.onresult = function(event) {


Specification Status Comment
Web Speech API
The definition of 'continuous' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 33 [1] Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
Feature Android Chrome Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes)[1] ? Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
  • [1] Speech recognition interfaces are currently prefixed in Chrome, so you'll need to prefix interface names appropriately, e.g. webkitSpeechRecognition; You'll also need to serve your code through a web server for recognition to work.

Firefox OS permissions

To use speech recognition in an app, you need to specify the following permissions in your manifest:

"permissions": {
  "audio-capture" : {
    "description" : "Audio capture"
  "speech-recognition" : {
    "description" : "Speech recognition"

You also need a privileged app, so you need to include this as well:

  "type": "privileged"

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

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