Fly To The Sky’s Vocal Analysis: Hwanhee


Vocal Range

E2 ~ Bb5 (3 Octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

A2 ~ G#4

Voice Type

Lyric Baritone


  • Strongest vocalist in Fly To The Sky
  • Very consistent support in his mixed voice
  • Resonance is produced consistently in his voice up to G#4
  • One of the best mixed voices for baritones in K-pop
  • Able to support his lower range down to A2
  • Transitions into falsetto can be done with a degree of smoothness
  • Runs can be well separated and can be done well
  • Has shown good musicianship and good harmonizing skills
  • Good breath support is employed
  • Good pitch throughout range
  • Nasality is almost non existent


  • Uses a laggy larynx vibrato
  • Mixed voice can lack consistency from F4 ~ G#4
  • Often overly compresses his throat with air pressure and chest resonance
  • Mixed voice above G#4 is strained and pushed
  • Uses a falsetto, never able to produce a connected head voice
  • Falsetto becomes tight above D5
  • Runs are often pitchy and out of place
  • Lower range becomes quiet below A2
  • Tries to sing like a tenor
  • Runs are often done with neck and jaw tension
  • Bad posture present, often has tense shoulders


  • Lower register: Somewhat developed range of his voice, however hardly ever truly explored. Extensive enough as a baritone that he can go down to E2 but generally lacks the true development of a baritone below A2.
  • Mixed register: Mixed voice is by far the most well developed register in his voice. Able to carry chest resonance very high in range and keep consistent support up to G#4. Above G#4, compression and pushing take over and the voice becomes shouty.
  • Upper register: Mostly uses a falsetto, below Eb5 the falsetto can be relaxed but above D5 the voice sounds tight and the jaw usually is tense. Notes above F5 are generally strained reinforced falsettos.


Mostly taking influence from R&B in his singing, runs are not something that Hwanhee under explores in his vocal performances, on the contrary he takes as much advantage of the fact that he can sing runs to an extent as possible. With that said, technically speaking Hwanhee’s runs can be quite well separated in pitch, controlled and often accurate when done with simplicity and a clear mindset on the musical idea he’s going for, such as in “Tomorrow“.  Rhythmically he’s able to properly execute vocal runs at slower speeds when they’re short and simple, however that is the complete opposite of what he actually does. Hwanhee’s most treasured stylistic device seems to be adding runs to most of the songs he sings, as many runs as possible with as many notes as possible. The result often becomes a cluttered idea of notes sung as fast as he can without having a true musical direction, which makes his runs often sloppy, pitchy and completely out of place, such as in “구속“, “너를 너를 너를“, “갈대의순정” and “U Got It Bad“.

Overall analysis

Having debuted in 1999 with the first generation of idols as part of the duo Fly To The Sky, Hwanhee has come a long way with his career as an entertainer, vocalist and artist, earning the respect of many by being a well accomplished vocalist in the K-pop industry with his years of experience. Possessing a voice that’s very characteristic to him, his sound is very instantly recognizable by the thick, low and large sound he possesses in his voice. His voice generally lies very low in range, both when he speaks and sings, but Hwanhee has developed his voice as such that he almost sings like a thicker type of tenor voice, although his true voice fach is that of a heavy weighted lyric baritone, judging by his passaggi and the tessitura where his voice shines the most in range.

The lowest part of his range is one that possesses a natural thick low sound, which as a baritone would allow him to explore the mid to low second octave with resonance and fulness. Unlike his natural fach, however, Hwanhee has trained his voice so much in the upper range that he’s neglected to develop the full potential of his lower range, causing him to at times struggle to keep good support below A2. Above A2, he’s shown that he’s able to keep a neutral larynx and a well chest placed sound in his voice, such as the A2’s in “남행열차“, “사랑하기에“, Bb2’s in “내 눈물 모아“, B2’s in “취중진담“, and the C3’s in “가슴 아파도“.  Although he has a more speech like clarity in his lower range only starting on A2, his tone isn’t necessarily completely lost below A2, but instead the lack of support causes the voice to be almost blurred and retain a smokier quality, more airy and less projected, such as the F#2’s in “취중진담“. However many times, his vocal cords become disconnected below A2, causing his tone to become airy, such as the G2’s in “갈대의순정“. This also happens because due to the lack of development in his lower range, at times in order to project below A2, Hwanhee strains his voice by forcing his larynx down creating a tone even darker than his natural timbre.

The mixed voice is by far the most explored, developed and used part of Hwanhee’s voice. Hwanhee has made it a point to be able to sing high enough to compete with the general population of tenors existent in the pop music industry. This has however caused him often sing and strain way outside not only his comfort zone, but also his natural voice type’s tessitura. He has developed a way to carry through the chest resonance he possesses in the lower part of his mix as high as he can, even up to D5, without losing the ability to control his voice in the process. It is such that singing E4’s and F4’s prove to be a fairly easy task for him, being able to produce resonance without any issues in that range, such as the E4’s in “사랑하기에” and “너를 너를 너를“. Although being able to sing through his first and second passaggi without a problem, the overly added pressure of caring so much chest voice up in range can be highly damaging to Hwanhee’s voice, considering how much compression exists in his mixed voice to allow him to stay in such a heavy-chest dominant mix around the highest parts of a baritone range and beyond. He often has shown that he’s able to carry resonance up in his mixed voice up to G4’s and F#4’s, such as the phrased G4’s “가슴 아파도“, and the sustained F#4’s in “너를 너를 너를“, and G4’s in “너를 위해“, “봄날은 간다“, “죽을 것만 같아” and “사랑했지만“. This resonance remains consistent even as he ascends up to G#4’s, being able to use the breath support he possesses, alongside the strong chest muscles and compressed sound in his throat to sustains numerous G#4’s, such as in “Missing You” and “너를 너를 너를“.

Even though he seems to have good control of his mixed voice up to G#4, often enough it sounds as though the compression he uses to be able to stay in such a high range becomes overly tight causing his sound to become pushed and strained, such as the G#4’s in “갈대의순정” and G4’s in “Tomorrow“, where his voice becomes throatier and coarser. This issue often seems to be caused by either a more closed muscle memory of vowels such as “Aye (애)” and “Ee (이)”, but also at times Hwanhee shows the tendency to carry down tension from notes outside his supported back down to his supported range. Strain in his voice becomes very apparent whenever he sings anywhere outside his supported range, which is something that he does quite often, exposing his weaknesses. He often sings above G#4 in order to emulate the range in which Korean pop tenors sing in, which causes him to often sound tight, choked up and pushed, such as the A4’s in “사랑했지만“, B4’s in “너를 너를 너를” and “사랑하기에“, C5’s in “내 사람“, C#5 in “미워해야 한다면“.  Nonetheless, a baritone who’s able to keep resonance as high as G#4 should be praised for his exceptional breath support.

His falsetto register is mostly used as an easy way to transition into a soft run, often very thin and small in size, he’s able to keep a nice relaxed sound up to D5, such as “가슴 아파도“, “너를 위해“, “내 사람” and “이밤의 끝을 잡고“, where he shows the ability to easily transition into his falsetto without losing the control of his voice or his key center. Above D5, his voice becomes tighter and his jaw position hinders the projection in his falsetto when singing softly, often singing with a high larynx above D5, such as in “A Woman’s Work“. Whenever he tries to add more volume and project above D5 in his falsetto, he resorts to a mask placed reinforced throaty falsetto, where he pushes his voice out through excessive air pressure, such as the F5 in “남자답게” and the A5 in “봄날은 간다“. He has yet to actually show the ability to produce a connected head voice, something that hinders his true ability to connect his voice from the bottom to the top of his range with an even column of sound, since without a head voice, he resorts to a disconnected airy falsetto or an overly pushed reinforced falsetto. Nevertheless he’s able to control his pitch and transition into his falsetto well and is able to sing through large intervals without losing his sense of key.

Perhaps one should commend Hwanhee on his ability to develop his mixed voice so much throughout the years that many times he’s able to drown out tenors he sings with, with his resonance. However the development of his voice came with a few setbacks, one major issue being his inability to produce a natural vibrato, while resorting to an inferior artificial vibrato technique called a laryngeal vibrato. A laryngeal vibrato is one that’s produced by quickly moving the larynx up and down to create a vibrato, which in Hwanhee’s case is often laggy and slow in speed. A laryngeal vibrato adds to a list of compressions and tension a vocalist could eliminate in their voice by instead using a more natural vocal approach. Examples of times when a laryngeal vibrato is obvious in Hwanhee’s singing include “다행이다” and “남자답게“. Although that is true, Hwanhee is to be praised for his ability to properly convey messages in his songs through the proper use of dynamics and vocal effects, such as stylistic airiness and throatiness.

For the future, Hwanhee is already a well established and respected vocalist in Korea. In order to improve his singing, very drastic changes would need to be made in his singing habits. Developing his head voice and lower range more and exploring a lighter vocal approach to his mixed voice, as well as accepting himself as a baritone and singing as such could show a much more truthful vocal delivery for future performances, as well as more simple musical ideas in his runs until he’s able to fully grasp the proper muscle memory to execute runs as complicated and fast as the ones he has in his mind when he sets off to sing.


A very well accomplished vocalist and in complete control of his instrument when it comes to vocal creativity, Hwanhee has shown more than enough times that he’s a risky vocalist and does not like to perform Karaoke-like covers of songs, instead always adding as much to his vocal performances as possible. At times his musical ideas can be well established and well produced, such as in “So Sick“, but at other times they can come off as out of place, often seeming like he sings more in order to show off as opposed to truly add anything musical and substantial to the overall delivery of his vocal performances, such as in “U Got It Bad“. Also able to harmonize well with others, as seen in his cover of “Endless Love” with Hwayobi.


Good to Great Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Edgar Cárdenas

Video by: 1zhxzhx

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)


About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu!

75 thoughts on “Fly To The Sky’s Vocal Analysis: Hwanhee

  1. You’ve been busy Ahmin lol. This is pleasantly surprising,although that means the gap between Brian and Hwanhee is depressingly large then. So if he fixed his singing habits (which I’m sure is hard to do after so many years of doing it) he’d probably rise to Great right?


    1. Most likely yes. ^ ^ The gap is quite large, if you watch 2014 and 2015 performances of Fly To The Sky, it feels like Brian has regressed considerably.


  2. Hi. You seem to be doing these vocal analyses very fast these days lol. Great job btw~

    Btw, I’m really curious. I use an app where I wanted to find my vocal range.
    At first when finding my range, it was written :
    D#2 – G#5 – B 6

    But then the final results were somehow:
    F#2 – F 5 – G 6

    So I’m really curious as to…

    1) What’s my real vocal range, the first one or the second one?

    2) What’s my vocal type? (I’m a guy btw~ and still young lol)

    If I want to describe my voice, it’s a little dark but not too dark.


    1. That doesn’t make sense. What app do you use? Try a different pitch detector.

      Or Try recording yourself and then check your range (using a piano if you have a relative pitch)?

      So try one of the above two things first. But the 2nd one seems more likely, because the first one is too extreme for both the highs and lows lol Not many guys have access to whistles (which is needed for the B6).

      Makes it hard to say with just range. We need to know your vocal colour, weight, and bridges as well.


    2. It’d be easier for you to record it and send it over, so we can tell you what notes we hear. We can’t tell you your range or voice type if we haven’t heard your voice.


  3. If comparing a tenor’s lower range to a baritone’s, tenor should have C3 or below right? while baritones should have A2 or below?


    1. Classically speaking tenors only project well from Bb2 ~ C3 and up, whereas baritones can have F#2 ~ A2 to project well from, the distance between tenors and baritones is a bit larger so it’s hard to be 100% sure. C3 is pretty good for a tenor, could be better. A2 for a baritone is nice, but baritones can handle more than that.


      1. It’s kind of what tessitura means although it can refer to the range within a song as well. It depends on their weight and sub type as well.


  4. Great analysis!!

    He’s spectacular technically (based off the things you wrote) but Brian is still a valuable partner for him which brings out his voice so much by balancing out his full and deep texture, especially for pop-ier sounding songs — another testament to fact that technique doesn’t have THAT much weight on how much you can enjoy a singer’s voice.

    But on another note… how would you think he ranks among idols like Kyuhyun?


    1. Hwanhee? or Brian? Cause we discussed it and amongst the vocalists rated in the same rating as Hwanhee, he overly exposes his weaknesses the most and does the most unhealthy things with his voice out of the 4, making him the weakest of the 4.


  5. So between Hwanhee and Chen, who’s got better lower notes? (I’ve noticed that their supported range is nearly the same, just a note apart).


    1. I think Chen’s lower range is better considering the fact that he’s a tenor? Even though his A2 isn’t consistent, he still supports until B2 which is already one note lower than what’s expected for decent lower ranges for tenors. From my understanding, Hwanhee’s lower range is pretty good for a baritone but could be better?


  6. dont you think he likes to sing like a tenor? his low voice is great but he always add high notes in every song. and it sound not that good, like crunchy(?)

    what song is his best vocal performance?


  7. Omg thankyou for this analysis. I am one of them who repeatedly ask you when you would do his analysis lol. And you did it!! I know i know he is at least good :’) Once again thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isn’t his low notes are not so good for a baritone? Especially if he’s a good to great vocalist. It seems like his mixed voice and higher notes are better than the low ones. Isn’t that quite odd for a baritone but anyway he slays either way


    1. I’m not sure if I’d say it’s odd, considering most people only care about high notes. He just didn’t care to develop his lower range.


  9. I always get an excited shiver down my spine when I find you have posted a new analysis – and to top it off, like an early Christmas present you post a Mezzo Soprano and a Baritone 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pretty underrated as a singer, imo.

    Anyhoo, I’ve been wondering. Who in this industry has the most similar technique when compared to Jessie J? She’s a really good singer in my opinion but I might be overestimating her.


    1. We would probably rate Jessie J as an Above Average vocalist, so most people who fall under that category would be somewhat similar to her.


  11. This is not Kpop related,but i was wondering what do you think about John Legend (i think he is a baritone,correct me if i am wrong) and Sam Smith,vocally speaking??How would you rate them?And if you could tell me briefly their flaws and their strengths.


    1. I don’t know them well enough to tell you, I may have heard resonance from John Legend, I know he gets really rough on G#4’s and his mix is pretty chesty, his F4’s are a maybe, I’m not sure since he hits a lot of them in All Of Me, he gets of throaty. He is a baritone yes and he is good at runs. Same for Sam Smith, I believe he might have runs down and his transitions are really nice, but his mix is on the other side, completely heady, lacks power, lacks presence, it’s whiny, he projects through his nose. I’ve never heard power or resonance from him, which is mostly an issue with support and placement. Sam Smith is average or so. (From what I’ve heard.) I don’t know John well enough to say.


  12. Yeah, i love Sam Smith and his voice but i could tell he is really overrated.Thanks for your answer any way,and thank you and your little group here for your hard work,without you guys we would still be cluesless.I have learned so much from this site!! 😀


    1. Mhmm you see, actually if I have to honest, I wouldn’t even give him F4. All these studio songs have really nice echo and reverb that mask the strain but his F4 and above all sounds tight and in the throat, he reminds me a lot of Michael Jackson..


  13. Hello admins,
    does chest resonance refers to a resonant chesty mix or am I wrong and it is completely different?
    May I ask what bumps him up to be good to great? His lower reg seems only okay-ish and he hasn’t shown that he is able to use connected head voice…. Is his mixed really outstanding that it is enough to bump him to G to GR? Because his case seems similar w/ lee haeri but her rating is only good, so I am quite curious…. Also… again…. I hope I didn’t come off as rude… Thank you ;~;


    1. Chest resonance in what context? Chest resonance can mean good chest placement in your lower range, chest voice. It can also mean chest resonance in a chest dominant mixed voice, it just generally means a chest placed and resonant sound. Also no no, you didn’t come off as rude at all. Think about it like this, Haeri has a very well developed mixed voice as a Soprano, but has not really developed her head voice and uses a falsetto and sings with a very underdeveloped lower range. Hwanhee not only has a really good mixed voice, his lower range is nice, it’s not amazing, but for a baritone it’s pretty nice. A competent baritone or an Above Average baritone would require such a lower range, so it isn’t anything to be looked down upon exactly. Hwanhee’s also got some agility to help him out but it’s generally just his mix + a nice lower + agility, control, pitch and whatnot. Haeri is literally only got her mixed voice, good pitch and dynamics.


    1. For now, he doesn’t seem to be going to be upgraded, his rating will stay the same. Kyuhyun is a better technical vocalist than Hwanhee.


      1. Really,then why is Chen getting re updated if he’s going to stay the same. You should should do Chanyeol and Xiumin’s vocal analysis , they are average singers right? Well, if you are going to re update Chen’s you should re-update all the members, but Chen did not even change in my opinion.

        Kyuyhyun is the strongest on his level, then Ailee?


      2. Chen is going to be re-analyzed because the analysis’ content was incorrect and it needs to be corrected, his rating will change from how the first analysis was written but the rating we have established for him won’t change, Haruko, the writer who chose to update his analysis, will address his improvement in more detail instead. Chanyeol is a rapper, he won’t be analyzed. Nobody is going to analyze Xiumin either. They’re not surely average vocalists, they might be weak to average. Chen improved since the date of his analysis being posted but Baekhyun and D.O. have not, that’s why. Yes Kyuhyun > Ailee > Son Seungyeon > Hwanhee.


      1. OMG that bad? This has to be the duo with the biggest difference in techniques ever. Has Brian Joo always been weak? His recent performances seem worse than before to me.


  14. I think he’s more of a thicker tenor than a baritone (full-lyric or spinto), i have almost the same low’s, belts & color, & almost the same supported range G#2/A2-G#4/A4, and my vocal coach classified me as a full-lyric tenor. He’s heavy but not enough to be classified as a baritone, maybe a baritenor, but not a baritone. Also his tessitura is out of a baritone’s tessitura. He sounds like a full-lyric or spinto to me. Warm, heavy & powerful.


    1. He’s too thick to be a full lyric tenor and actually too low to be a tenor at all. He literally speaks like a baritone, he just trained himself to sing like a tenor because he’s a pop singer. It’s hard to be sure with pop singers to force themselves to emulate singing with a voice that’s not theirs.


      1. So i may be a baritone then? I speak like a baritone too… But my ease on the upper belts is so tenor-ish & my vocal coach keeps told me that i have a weird voice.. He’s maybe a darker full-lyric/spinto maybe.. A baritone should at least have more volume on the low’s like G#2/A2/Bb2, his low’s aren’t really weighty.They reminds me of a really dark & thick tenor.. Full-lyrics/spintos are usually tenors with a baritone’s color. A tenor can be heavy as well. And “Baritenor” is the most logical classification for him! Go listen to some full-lyrics/spintos or even heldentenors on the opera, he sounds like them between F4-C5, same color & same weight!


      2. Well “should” is a very subjective word because a lot of people “should” sound in many ways, a lot of these sopranos in pop music “should” sound fine on C5, and yet so many think that’s a high note. Hwanhee just has an underdeveloped lower range considering his mixed voice. I’d have to hear you sing to tell you anything. He’s a pop singer, he trained himself to sing as high as a tenor, that doesn’t make him a tenor.


    1. I understand but you also have to take in consideration he’s trained himself to sing like a tenor, but he speaks with A2’s full of tone, exactly like a baritone but when he sings he puts on this “tenor”-like approach that makes his lower range sound less weighty but that’s because he hasn’t developed it nearly as much as his mix.


      1. He doesn’t have that much of a developed lower register but support down to A2, shouldn’t that be a dead give away that he is a baritone? I mean supporting A2s for a tenor is like exceptional lol


  15. What do you think Brian Joo’s highest rate before he regress? Above Average? Competent?

    Do you think Hwanhee make a big improve like Taemin or already trained as skill-enough singer when he debut?


    1. I have no idea, he was at least average before. I don’t know, I didn’t follow his early debut days too much but he did improve.


  16. Ahmin, is it okay if i support E2 – Eb4 and sometimes E4 and rarely F4 ? What is my voice type ? I think .. baritone ?
    And is it too low if a baritone covers a soprano’s song with ‘down an octave’ keys ? I always do that ehehe, but sometimes i really want to reach higher than E4, but i cant mixed well ;(


    1. Is it okay? Sure why not? I would have to hear you to know if you’re a baritone or not. It’s slightly too low because you’re not exploring the full extent of your baritone voice.


  17. Wow that G#4s are heaven hahaha so jealous of him, i’m a baritone too but i cant support notes above E4, and even cant strain G4 ‘well’ lol, any tips for mixing on the 4th octave for baritone ? I usually use balanced mix to eliminate the weight of my mixed notes


    1. Well it’s not any different from just any general mixing tips. You gotta first develop a heady mix in a healthy way then add weight to it.


  18. It is kind of crazy for me to see a baritone being able to belt as high as C5, i do not pay much attention to male singers and i thought it was not possible for a baritone to belt that high. I am a baritone too and singing a G4 without strain is the most i can get, i can the worst C5 scream out of myself but that is basically just strain. I for some reason start to lose all the weight in my chest past D4 and it becomes very whiny and weak even though my larynx is neutral. Do you think it is possible for me to learn how to belt in G4 area with actual weight when naturally i lose it at D4 ?


    1. It’s funny cause BtoB’s Hyunsik, Sungjae, SHINee’s Key, 2PM’s Junho…all of them can mix in the fifth octave. Yes of course it is, but first you have to train your muscles to be strong enough on their own to resist the air pressure up to G4 with a bright and balanced mix before you add the extra volume and chestier vocal weight.


  19. Hi ahmin,
    I have a question about Hwanhee’s run. I sometimes have trouble teeling if they are accurate or not especially if the person’s agility is in between those two extremes. If you can listen to it, it’d be great. Time stamp is 4:08.


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