Ranking of Vocalists

Vocal ranking of male and female idol vocalists

PLEASE READ BEFORE QUESTIONING/LOOKING AT THE CHART. Please do not repost chart without copying the background information. Don’t take the chart out of context.

Following is the ranking of idols and young vocalists that we’ve analyzed so far here at KpopVocalAnalysis. This list only includes idols who’ve debuted in 2014 or earlier. Idols who have debuted after 2014 were not analyzed due to the lack of material and the possibility of improvements happening shortly after the debut of an idol. Thus no debuts after 2014 shall be included in this chart. If a vocalist of any group that debuted in 2014 or prior is not present in this chart, that would be because their final rating would be at most average or due to lack of material for an analysis.

In 2013, we from KpopVocalAnalysis gathered together as fans, as vocal enthusiasts, and some of us as vocal instructors and vocalists ourselves to bring education and knowledge and to satisfy the curiosity of a community within a fandom. The following rankings we shall post have one thing that most others don’t have, hard work. Unlike what fans like to call the “opinion of experts,” mostly done by PD’s, Composers, and Music Critics, we have not only taken the time to listen to each single vocalist in these rankings individually, one by one, but we also have provided more than a simple sentence to describe how they use their voices/instruments. We have compiled a ranking system through our very own upbringing and learning process in order to properly categorize and find similarities between vocalists, technically.

Most other rankings take into consideration tone, emotion, and the individual taste of the listener. They normally don’t take the time to search through every vocalist there is and truly evaluate whether or not they’re truly good technical vocalists. Most of the time, these rankings aren’t even put together by vocalists or vocal instructors. So long story short: we have taken the time and consideration to give each individual vocalist a fair chance and listen through many videos and performances in order to fully understand how they utilize their voices. Our only aim was ever to teach and help each fan be aware of the truth behind the vocalists’ singing abilities. After working through more than 120 vocalists over the period of two years, we have gathered enough information to correctly categorize and rank them against one another. This list is not meant to be offensive. The criteria is not only attached to the rankings, but also to the main part of this blog. Each vocalist in the chart has been fairly analyzed before and if there are any questions as to why a vocalist is ranked as they are, the explanation is well within each vocalist’s individual analysis.

So after being able to finalize this big project and finally come up with a ranking chart and more than 100 analyses in the blog, we have reached our goal. To educate, to have a reliable source fans can rely on to find each and every vocalist they’ve ever been curious about and read about them all. Of course this is not the end of what we’ve started, many more vocalists will still be analyzed within the Korean music industry. So without any further ado, enjoy the rankings.

If there’s a question as to why a vocalist is ranked where they are, each individual vocalist in this chart has an analysis. So before calling anyone biased or before resorting to name calling, take the time to read these analyses carefully. If even after reading the analyses, there are questions and oppositions, don’t hesitate to maturely explain why you disagree with this chart. Keep in mind this chart is about VOCAL TECHNIQUE and vocal technique ONLY.

The rankings will be regularly updated as vocalists improve or regress.

LIST OF ANALYSES

Males:

Females:

vocalrankinggirls

Last updated : December 25th, 2016

No change to be done as of: May 28th, 2017

Overtime, an Idol’s vocal technique may either improve or deteriorate, therefore this list shall be constantly updated when new material surfaces and significant changes are consistently seen in the vocalist’s technique. Also, when more detailed analyses are given on idols, an idol may no longer be on the list or my find himself/herself in a higher or lower position.

This ranking is not to be taken out of context or to be used in any sort of way for petty arguments between fandoms nor to create fanwars. It’s a ranking created in order to give a visual interpretation and summarize the overall idea of the blog with each vocalist’s rating compared to one another. It is not created to offend anyone and is to be taken as seriously as one might wish to and should not interfere with anyone’s choice as a fan or affect how you see your favorite singer.

Even so, we are very open towards opinions and suggestions. If you find that an idol is not in the correct position, or that somebody else deserves a spot and we didn’t list them, do let us know. Link us to the idol’s performance and we will analyze it. If your reasoning is proven we will alter the ranking. As with what we’ve mentioned before, this list will be updated regularly.

We would also like to remind you that the ranking is completely objective and is solely based on VOCAL TECHNIQUE. Emotions, stage presence, entertainment factor, tone will all be ignored as they are purely subjective. If you feel that your bias is an emotional singer, someone else may not. Things that are subjective cannot be used as valid reasons for an idol’s rank.

Please refer to our judging criteria here if you are unsure how we determine an idols rank. If someone is placed above another Idol, it usually means that they are a more consistent vocalist, have better and more developed placements and registers, and is more resonant than the people below them.

FYI

These rankings include idols and young solo artists only. This means vocalists like Sohyang, Park Hyo Shin, Naul, etc are not considered idols, therefore, they are not ranked.

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765 thoughts on “Ranking of Vocalists

      1. this is suspicious, im pretty sure there wasn’t such an obvious spot there before… (starts speculating about new analyses)

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  1. Uhm… Ahmin/pandayeu i have a question. Wendy’s supported range is wider than Taeyeon & i’ve been read both vocal analysis. But why Taeyeon’s ranking is slightly above Wendy? Is this because Taeyeon more consistent with resonance in mixied register? Or agility? Or Wendy’s slightly nasality? Or something, please answer…. Sorry for my english…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This question has been answered a couple of times. The reason for that is openness and resonance, in which Taeyeon produces resonance and Wendy has yet to do so.

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  2. Quick question here, how come Bada isn’t on the chart? I’ve seen her analysis but she’s not on here. I actually remember her being on here before, or I might have hallucinated that idk.
    Thanks for writing all these analyses btw.

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    1. Underrated? That’s new! Most people think she’s too high lol Did you read the analyses for all 4 to understand their positions?

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      1. i guess thats because shes being too hated on i dont really know why…anyway i did read the vocal analysis truthfuly i did not understand a lot only that they all need to work more cause they have potential…honestly im just saying what the company tells the fans i just thought it goes like taeyeon jessica tiffany seohyun sunny probably because i dont have the knowledge really… could you briefly tell me where she lacks compared to the considered worse than her members? it would be too kind!thanks for answearing tho (and so fast its amazing!! you guys are doing an amazing job here)

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      2. Let me see, what Tiffany lacks in comparison to Seohyun and Sunny? Tiffany is shouty in her mix, considering all 3 are sopranos she’s the one with the least development in her mix since Sunny can support in the fifth octave more consistently and Seohyun does as well. Sunny is generally more relaxed and has a much better head voice, and Seohyun has been able to produce resonance as well.

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    1. You can learn more about mixed, chest and head voice watching Ahmin’s videos 🙂 it’s not something easy to explain in a text, but he makes it easier in the video. Also, Seohyun and Jessica are actually tied.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Back when Hyorin (Sistar) was better would you have placed her on top of ailee or in the same place? Or maybe a little bit higher than where she is right now?
    Also do you thing she has gotten worse because of her trying to rap or just not taking good care of her voice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was never a time I’d have put them in the same exact spot, Ailee always did have superior technique even when Hyorin was at her best. Despite her better lower range and brighter mix, Ailee always had a far superior head register and had shown much better control of consistency with support in her upper mix despite the lack of freedom. Hyorin would’ve been in the “good” rating at her best though. I don’t think rapping was the reason, but I can’t tell you what the reason was because I don’t know her personally.

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  4. Hi Ahmin, for the rules you did indicate that only half the vocalists in a group will be analysed, however for VIXX aren’t Leo and Ken considered as main vocalists and N as a lead vocalist? Hence I was kind of bummed to see that he didn’t appear here. I do hear some people saying that N’s technique is good but well, we can’t actually say anything for sure because we aren’t vocal instructors / professionals like you guys xD Can you do a short / small analysis on his vocal ability? Thanks a lot 🙂

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    1. Well VIXX has 6 members right? And one rapper, Ravi, right? Then 2/5 is half especially considering their skill level. What do you reckon his rating would have been, had he been analyzed, considering Leo’s and Kens analyses, their ratings and our rules? I appreciate the comment btw! Thanks for taking interest, I’m sorry we just got a lot of vocalists so we have to skip some.

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      1. Oh no problem by the way! It’s fine that you can’t analyse him. 🙂 In my opinion I would think that he would be around average to above average, considering Leo was ranked a weak(?) vocalist due to his strain and weak support. I am not sure about N, but I do know that if he had trained more for his vocals he would be a good vocalist imo. His Masked Singer performance was quite good but lol I can’t say much because I am not professional in this area despite being in choir for 3 years.

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      2. Well you see, if Ken is rated average and in his analysis he is described as VIXX’s strongest vocalist, there is no possibility that any other vocalist of VIXX would be rated anywhere higher than average. If N were to be average to above average, there would have been a high chance of him being analyzed but if their strongest vocalist is average and their other main vocalist was rated weak, the only option for N would be to end up somewhere in between them. Logically speaking, that’s what I was trying to hint at since I didn’t really want to rate anybody without analyzing them fully first. So I hope that makes sense. ㅠㅜ I do apologize again.

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  5. Wow, Bts is surprisingly low considering their success. Just to confirm, is it still the case after Not Today and Spring Day ? Hope they will have improved by their next comeback.

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    1. Success has nothing to do with vocal ability, as proved by Britney Spears and Madonna for many years. Yes indeed it is still the case, unfortunately improvement has to do with the conscious effort to fix issues one is aware of, releasing new music but not changing their singing approach will not allow them to improve their technique.

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    1. If you read the information before the ranking you’ll see that this list only includes idols who debuted in 2014 or earlier. So not 2015 or later.

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  6. May i know why Narsha is placed below Solar? She has head voice until G5 and can produce resonance there, whereas Solar mainly just uses falsetto. Is Solar’s consistency with resonance and resonance on C#5 (as Narsha has consistent resonance til C5 only) what puts her ahead?

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  7. What’s up ahmin! The analysises are bomb, just here to ask a question about vibrato and another question on a vocalist from Varsity:
    My lower jaw moves up and down “naturally” without me knowing when I sing vibrato. Any insight on the matter? Could it be a larynx vibrato?
    Last question: Is the F#4 at 2:59 supported? It sounds really open, and with heathy voice technique, but I need to clarify it with a professional:

    Thanks a lot, always count on you to make accurate analysises. IM OUT!

    Like

    1. You do know of the jaw vibrato, right? Naturally is one way to call a habit that you’ve grown used to over the years, but it may not be as natural as you’d think. No, it is not supported at all. Even without hearing it, if you look at him, you can see his neck turning red, his veins and throat squeezing around his larynx and him sticking his head forward, none of which are good signs. Listening to it, you can hear a very throat-based, shallow quality. I have seen this video before btw:

      “0:08 pitchy run and way too much air in his falsetto. He supports really nicely but 0:28 that is way too nasal and narrow of a vowel, he didn’t drop his jaw nearly enough for a note that could’ve been much more opened. Both 맞춰도, 춰 Chweo and 도 do were both way too nasal. 0:31 He sang Hee instead of Ee, he was adding too much air for no reason. 0:43 slightly flat. Xiweol places his falsetto in his nose too. 1:06 his runs are really pitchy. 1:27 all the tightness, airiness and nasality in his falsetto really limit him a lot. 1:47 he keeps going into his nose. 1:10 2:14 2:29 I hear throatiness in Riho’s E4’s. 2:40 2:47 E4 2:51 G#4 the throatiness gets really bad when he goes higher, it gets really in his throat. 2:55 E4 ~ F#4 throatiness for Xiweol. 3:06 shouty throaty G#4 for Riho. If I were to guess, I’d say they’re both tenors and tenors who strain on E4 or so…that is quite underwhelming.”

      Thank you btw!

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      1. Thank you for the reply! The Gospel jaw is what it’s called? Well thank you, I will continue to hone my skills in my instrument. And obviously I was dumb enough to not know that note was unsupported. I saw it on the supported vs. unsupported video. Thanks ahmin! My friends actually wanted your username with two 8’s at the end, don’t know why. You know more than Barbara. Actually, not sure..

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      2. Sorry. I didn’t mean to type in “Barbara”. I’m so embarrassed, because at the time I was really sleepy. Anyways one more question. Just to clarify, what is kyuhyun doing at 4:01? His vibrato is… like what I do. Not the exact same Bb4.

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  8. Hey ahmin3, i am sorry to ask you this but what would be Bruno Mars rating for his singing skills ? Its just the curiosity btw.

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  9. Hey really loving all the work you have been doing! Do you plan to update this chart at the end of this year? Or after you get a few more new analysis done? I have read all your analysis but having the visual representation really helps!

    Thanks

    Like

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