VIXX’s Vocal Analysis: Ken


Vocal Range

Bb2 ~ F#6 (3 octaves and 4 notes)

Supported Range

F3 ~ F4/F#4

Voice Type

Light Lyric Tenor


  • Strongest vocalist in VIXX
  • Only member of VIXX with a consistent sense of breath support
  • Support is present down to F3 with consistency
  • Mixed voice is relaxed and sung with support up to F#4
  • Improvement has been noticeable from debut until now
  • Able to use a connected head voice
  • Occasionally able to show moments of accurate musicianship


  • Lower range is relatively unsupported and quiet
  • Vocal runs are generally sloppy and pitchy
  • Too much compression present in vocal cords causing tension
  • Tends to sing with a high larynx above F#4
  • Nasality can be present in his voice often
  • Support in his head voice is rarely present


  • Lower register: His chest voice is generally quite breathy and his most underdeveloped register. The voice maintains some support below F3, but the vocal cords lack strength and development as he’s unable to project below F3.
  • Mixed register: Consistent support is present up to F#4, improvement has been noticeable recently in terms of openness within his supported range. Above F#4, he generally sounds tight and sings with a high larynx.
  • Upper register: Able to use a connected head voice and transitions are often well done. Tends to lack support in his head voice and go back and forth between head voice and falsetto.


Ken’s not a vocalist who’s ever been shy to try and take risks vocally. One of such risks was always his bravery in attempting to add many vocal runs, even very early on before his debut as a member of VIXX. Unfortunately, back then his runs would be very messy and lack a purpose. They’d often come out somewhat randomly and lack a musical direction, as they’d out of place and the melodic idea behind them would never be delivered effectively. This was because he’d lack the full control of his vocal cords to be able to smoothly sing through a number of pitches within the same vowel sound and still being able to separate each note without falling off the key center of the song. This can be heard in “Only One For Me“, “Same Sad Song“, “Baby Baby“, “다시 사랑할 수 있을까“, “대.다.나.다.너” and “아파.” More recently, he’s shown improvement in this career and has been able to simplify many of his runs, instead of trying to add as many notes as he can to his runs, now he’s able to sing simpler trills and slower runs with much better accuracy, as heard in a live showcase of his higher range and in performances such as “Rolling in the Deep“, “Love Letter” and “사랑에 빠지고 싶다.”

Overall analysis

Ken debuted as one of the two main vocalists of VIXX alongside Leo in 2012. He’s known for his high notes and his powerful sound output, which is thanks to his higher tenor voice that lies within the light lyric tenor fach. This combined with an extensive mixed voice allows him to often sing in a very demanding high range. His overall tone is bright, clear and at times sultry, as he sings lower in range. He’s been able to showcase his vocal ability throughout the years by participating in many vocally focused TV shows such as Immortal Song 2, King of Mask Singer, Perfect Singer, Go Until The End, and more recently Duet Song Festival.

The lower portion of his chest voice is by the least developed part of his voice. He’s always struggled to produce a full sound as he descended lower in range, where his voice would always sound quieter and airier the lower he’d sing, as heard in “아파“, “그리워 그리워” and “어둠 속을 밝혀줘.” This problem has been somewhat addressed, as more recently he’s been able to show improvement in the range around F3 ~ G3, where now he is able to produce fuller and more connected notes with proper breath support. His chest voice stays projected only above F3, as heard by the F3’s in “사랑에 빠지고 싶다“, “그것만이 내 세상“, “서울의 달” and F#3’s in “Never Ending Story.” Below F3 though, he is still unable to maintain his vocal cords connected and generally becomes very breathy and quiet, losing volume and projection. This can be heard heard by his E3’s in “차가운 밤에“, “Never Ending Story“, Eb3’s in “Listen“, “눈물이 뚝뚝“, D3’s “Anthem“, “아이돌하기싫어“, C#3’s in “하늘을 달리다“, B2’s in “Never Ending Story“, Bb2’s in “너의 모든 순간“, “Anthem” and “사랑에 빠지고 싶다.” At times he may also push his larynx down to project below his supported range, but this results in a muffled tone instead of a full one, as heard by the C#3 in “서울의 달.”

His mixed voice is another area where some improvement has been heard throughout the years. He’s always shown that he knew how to support his voice and had a basic understanding of breath support, at least up to E4. Above E4 he’d have the tendency to let go of support to a degree and begin to sound tighter, lacking openness and not being fully relaxed. This part of his mixed voice has shown improvement, whereas before he’d show support and tightness around the F4/F#4 range, as heard in “하늘을 달리다“, “차가운 밤에“, “그것만이 내 세상” and “태어나줘서 고마워“, now he’s able to produce cleaner and more opened notes without as much tightness, as heard by the F4’s in “야생화“, “미친 존재감“, “행복하지 말아요“, “사랑에 빠지고 싶다” and F#4’s in “너의 모든 순간“, “그것만이 내 세상” and “Never Ending Story.” However, above that he still is unable to open his throat and remain relaxed. As a result, whenever he sings in the range above F#4, he tends to strain his voice, tighten his throat muscles and squeeze his voice out.

The range in which Ken sings the most unfortunately happens to be the range in which he has no support. Most of the time, Ken is known for his high belting and when singing solo or as a member of VIXX, he tends to favor songs that have him belting way outside his comfort zone. As a result, he’s often heard singing in a range where he strains his voice and shows a lot of tension mixing. The tension is caused by his throat muscles closing around his larynx when singing higher and his tendency to push a lot of air through his vocal cords and compressing his vocal cords tightly together, this causes him to sound pushed and shouty above F#4. Not only that, but he also sings with a high larynx above F#4, therefore being unable to support and remain relaxed in that range. This can be heard by the G4’s in “말하자면“, “잠시만 안녕“, G#4’s in “Error“, A4’s in “사랑이라는 이름으로“, “다칠준비가 돼있어“, “Anthem“, “태어나줘서 고마워“, “차가운 밤에“, Bb4’s in “불행했음 좋겠다“, “마지막 승부“, B4’s in “Rolling in the Deep“, C5’s in “청춘이 아파“, “My Everything“, “서울의 달“, “빗속에서“, C#5’s in “Love Letter“, Eb5’s in “서울의 달“, “사랑에 빠지고 싶다“, E5’s in “그것만이 내 세상” and F5’s in “행복하지 말아요.”

His upper register often consists of a mix between a falsetto and a head voice. At times he’ll be able to use a connected head voice where his muscles are functioning properly and at other times, he’ll use an airy falsetto instead. Regardless of what he uses, he mostly is able to stay within the key center of a song and switch without too many issues but he’s never been able to showcase support in his head voice, even though he’s able to connect it. This causes him to sound shallow and somewhat tight, especially as he sings higher above E5. This can be heard by the Bb4’s in “불행했음 좋겠다“, C5’s in “Love Letter“, D5’s in “I Miss You So Much“, his G#5’s in “사랑에 빠지고 싶다“, and throughout the range from Bb5 to F#6 in the high note battle between him and fellow VIXX member Hyuk, where he tends to add a big push of air with a high larynx to vocalize in a range where he can’t bring proper breath support.

Contrary to popular belief, Ken does not possess a whistle register. Commonly referred to as a whistle tone or “dolphin sounds” in Korean, Ken does not vocalize properly to create a true whistle register. Instead of exhaling air and allowing his vocal cords to flip up into the whistle register, Ken inhales air and causes his sound to be more of a creak that makes his vocal cords vibrate at a faster speed but is not musically usable in songs and does not count as part of his vocal range. Vocally Ken possesses enough control of his breath to manipulate his airflow in order to sing with more or less volume output within his supported range. Outside his supported range he tends to sound shouty and only be able to sing loudly in his mix. Nonetheless he possesses the basic understanding of musicality to convey emotions properly through the use of dynamics.

Ken vocally has a lot of potential shown by how extensive his overall vocal range is. However an extensive vocal range is meaningless if the vocalist doesn’t know how to control his instrument with skill and in a healthy manner. Ken is young and as such he can take vocal abuse and not show signs of permanent vocal damage yet, allowing him to sing in a higher range without support for now. As a result it is possible that he may damage his instrument in the long run if he doesn’t take care of his vocal technique. He’s shown some minor improvements lately and it’s advisable for him to work on easing up tension and not singing in such a high range as often as he does. For the future it is important that he takes care of his voice to have a long lasting career. He’s a talented young vocalist and shows potential as a vocalist, musician and as a member of VIXX, so his potential should be nurtured and developed.


Harmonically, Ken is able to blend and pull back the volume of his voice to be able to match it with whoever is singing with him. This helps him not overpower his duet partners and shows more control of his voice, as heard in “Missing You.” Musically, he often tries to add his own musical ideas, runs and adlibs to songs. This are met with mixed results, as at times he is able to sing more basic adlibs that actually fall within the key center of a song, and at other times he can become somewhat pitchy and sound off key, as heard in “Baby Baby“, “Rolling in the Deep” and “I Believe I Can Fly.”


Average Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: kpoparina

Video by: Mariel Ang

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

About ahmin3

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

80 thoughts on “VIXX’s Vocal Analysis: Ken

  1. Thanks for the analysis! I honestly had really high hopes for Ken and Leo but that just shows I have much to learn ☺️
    So would it be Ken>N>Leo>the rest? Thanks again


  2. Wow! Even when Ken can go very high, he is still ranked as an Average vocalist. While some other male idols don’t sing very high, they are rank above Ken


  3. Thanks for the amazing analysis! Ken is such a cutie but his vocals are really overrated sometimes.

    “Not only that, but he also sings with a high larynx above F#4, therefore being able to support and remain relaxed in that range.” Did you mean “unable” or am I reading it wrong?

    I’m glad he could improve a little and has support down to F3 now. I was honestly expecting the worst for his lower register but it’s not as bad as I thought. Would you say Taemin’s is slightly more developed as he has Eb3/E3?

    Ooooh and people really believe he has a whistle register because of this one magical C7 moment? Funny.😀


  4. Wow lol I didn’t expect the ranking at all, although I guessed right that he’s stronger than Leo vocally. Being the second in my KPOP singers’ ranking after Kyuhyun I expected more from Ken but okay. :))


  5. Yay, I’ve been waiting for this analysis for a long time! When I got into VIXX everyone was like “Leo’s the best vocalist” but I never really believed it. After I looked more into it and did vocal range videos for them (thank you for putting my video here btw) it was obvious that Ken’s much better. Oh wait how did I miss that mixed F5? Lol anyways great analysis as always. Also, I know the C7 doesn’t count as his range but what exactly is that, is it an exclamation?


    1. All singing is exhaling air through the vocal cords, but since it’s inhaled, it doesn’t count as really singing range. It’s not an exclamation, it’s just inhaled.


      1. Yeah that makes sense cause his C7 sounded very different than his F#6, it was way more pleasant. I wonder if in the future he can do whistle notes.


  6. Been waiting for this! Finally! All of my biases are Main Vocals and Ken is the second (coz Chen is number one in my heart). And I am so happy to read their analyses here. Hope you can make Dokyeom of SVT in the future. I will check my list of bias for now. Chen, Ken and Kyuhyun had been analyzed. Hoping for DK soon! THANK YOU!


      1. He just debuted, so let’s give this baby more time. lol Yes she’s in our Future Analyses list already.


  7. Thanks for the analysis! Some people have alluded that Ken seems to have a natural gift for singing, that he’s the type that has a knack for it, even if he doesn’t have all the proper techniques. Do you get that sense too? Also the high note battle was with Hyuk, not N😉


    1. Oh my bad on saying it was N, I didn’t look at i correctly. I am not sure if I get that he’s a natural in singing, but it’s likely since he has a lot of potential.


    1. If you click the video on the analysis for the part in which I addressed the inhaling air thing, it’s the same video so yes it is inhaled.


  8. Wonderful analysis over Ken! As a new fan of them coming in during Chained Up, I thought Leo and Ken were pretty good but when I looked up older performances(concerts, king of masked singer and such) and even more recent performances I found that Ken and Leo didn’t have the vocal quality that I was told that they had?I really hope that Ken and Leo get the proper vocal training that they need so they become the best singers that they can be without ruining their voices(have you heard them shrieking? ehhhhhh).
    ALSO I have a question! It’s really random omg but is there a name for when people make their voices rough while singing? like here’s an example in this Sistar song at 0:25 if there’s no name for it it’s fine! I just don’t see the stylistic appeal to it?


    1. I’m glad you liked it! Oh this? That’s called growling. It’s stylistically appealing to some, sometimes I enjoy doing it too haha


  9. How much should I pay you to train Ken so he can make up his weaknesses? *ignore this* >.<

    anyway, I found his voice appealing and much more for his cutie face lol. thanks for the analysis, been waiting for this analysis since he's the only kpop idol throne-ing my list. a noob question tho, how to train a singer thus he can control and manipulate his voice at such? what would a vocal coach tend to do to accomplish that? *pardon my english*


    1. How much is he willing to pay me for me to train him would be a better question LOL jk Your English is fine. Well I would need to first work on addressing issues that he has with tension by creating different new vocal habits that would counter the bad ones.


  10. LOL i hope you don’t get a lot of flack for vixx’s analyses…. imho you seem to be fond of both of them, ken especially.😀 thanks for the read!


    1. Admin won’t receive any backlash, don’t worry. Starlights are pretty chill, and even I accept that they have a lot of room for improvement and hope that they can train to be better, technique wise. Also, Thank you admin, for posting this analysis:)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Weak to average to average yeah, if it was based off of his material from 2011 ~ 2013 only, I’d have rated him weak to average actually.


    1. I’m sorry but VIXX has 4 or 5 vocalists, and 1 or 2 rappers so we only analyze half the vocalists in a group. Hyuk won’t be analyzed.


  11. Pretty surprised by this one, as I believed this singer was one of the better male singers in the entirety of Kpop. I knew that his fellow vocalist, Leo, was very weak… but this was… wow.


    1. You’re right about the pitch but not the octave, unless you just typed wrong. It was C#5, E5 and then D5. It sounds very tight, squeezed and strained actually.


  12. Hi I am sorry I keep on commenting lol Would like to ask how Ken did here…

    I think his low notes are more stable compared to other performances, or am I wrong again lmao
    They lost by 4 points again OTL


  13. Hey, what’s the lowest note that Ken sings at the beginning of Fantasy? I’ve been trying to figure out what note it is, but my sense of pitch is just pathetic.

    He starts at :14.


      1. Ah, so it’s not lower than Bb2, my mistake. I had thought that maybe he showed that he could go lower, but if that E2 is Ravi, then it doesn’t really matter. Thanks for letting me know.🙂


  14. Heya~ This doesn’t have to do with Ken, but rather his partner on Duet Song Festival, so I decided to ask on Ken’s page, haha.
    I’m just curious whether he sings relatively well or not! I dunno if it’s been asked or not but I thought I’d ask anyhow. ^^


      1. Ahh, thank you~!
        I don’t know if you watch most of the Duet Song Festival duets, but would you say that the majority of the partners do not have very good technique?~


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