Kpop boy groups don’t just dominate the national music charts. They also set trends and have a greater impact on many forms of media like TV and films – sometimes on an international scale.
“Who is your favorite K-pop boy group?” isn’t just table talk for avid followers of the genre. It’s a dinnertime conversation playing out at households and restaurants all over the world.
Choosing a favorite isn’t easy. But there’s one thing we can guarantee – some of the best K-pop boy groups can be found in this guide! Let’s look at some of the big names in the category, active and legacy groups alike. When you're done, have a look at these Kpop girl groups as well.
South Korean boy group BTS (or the Bangtan Boys) are so popular that their YouTube channel recently surpassed Justin Bieber’s in subscriptions at 70 million!
BTS originally formed in 2013 as a seven-piece consisting of Suga, Jin, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. Remarkably, they co-write and co-produce a good chunk of their own material.
There have been some rumors floating around that BTS might be breaking up, largely due to the increased solo activity of its members, but J-Hope publicly stated that the group had no intentions of going on hiatus. It’s possible they “rethought” their decision to disband, say some sources.
A few good BTS songs to check out are “On,” “Dynamite,” and “Spring Day.”
The award-winning EXO formed in 2011 and debuted in 2012 as a South Korean / Chinese boy group. Although they performed as Exo-K (Korean) and Exo-M (Mandarin) until 2014, they have since been performing as a singular, unified group. They still have music in multiple languages, though!
Their current nine-member configuration includes Lay, Suho, Xiumin, Baekhyun, Chen, D.O., Chanyeol, Kai, and Sehun, but they originally debuted with 12 members.
Some of their standout tracks include “Going Crazy,” “Groove,” and “Gravity.”
Super Junior (also SJ or SuJu) has had a solid run to this point, originally debuting in 2005. The group is currently made up of 10 members – Leeteuk, Yesung, Heechul, Shindong, Sungmin, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun, though they originally had 12 members.
The members of Super Junior are sometimes divided into smaller groups, depending on the audiences they’re targeting.
Super Junior has won many awards and was even the best-selling Kpop artist for four consecutive years. Their dedicated fans are called E.L.F (Ever Lasting Friends).
Have a look at “Sexy, Free & Single,” “Mr. Simple,” and “Devil.”
Seventeen debuted in 2015 with 13 members – Joshua, S.Coups, Jeonghan, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, Seungkwan, The8, Vernon, and Dino.
Their debut release, 17 Carat, went onto become the longest-charting K-pop album in 2016 in the US.
As a “self-producing” group, the members of Seventeen are actively involved in their own songwriting, choreography, and other aspects of their performance and music. Its members specialize in one of three areas – vocal, hip-hop, and performance.
Some of their hot tracks include “Moonwalker,” “Hey Buddy,” and “Wave.”
Big Bang debuted as a five-piece in 2006, but with Seungri retiring from the entertainment industry in 2019, the current four-member configuration stands as their default – T.O.P, G-Dragon, Taeyang, and Daesung.
Their debut album, Bigbang Vol. 1, did not instantly propel them to stardom. Fortunately, they followed it up with multiple hit singles that grew their overall popularity.
The group has gone on hiatus multiple times, but they are active again as of 2022.
Here are some standout moments via Big Bang – “Lies,” “Haru Haru,” and “Fantastic Baby.”
Stray Kids was formed on the reality show, Stray Kids, in 2017. They debuted as a nine-piece, but their current member roster is made up of the following eight – Lee Know, Bang Chan, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Seungmin, Felix, and I.N.
In their relatively short history, they have already debuted in Japan, and their 2022 EP, Oddinary, topped charts in South Korean, Poland, Finland, and the United States.
Career highlights so far include but aren’t limited to “God’s Menu,” “Thunderous,” and “MANIAC.”
NCT (or Neo Culture Technology), debuted in January 2016. Their current lineup includes an astounding 23 members ranging in age from their late teens to mid-20s. The group, however, is divided into four subunits, with each engaging in different career and promotional activity. They did come together to record three albums, though – 2018’s Empathy, 2020’s Resonance, and 2021’s Universe.
NCT has gone through multiple member changes through the years as they continue their promotional activity.
Check out NCT U’s “Baby Don’t Stop,” NCT Dream’s “My First & Last,” as well as NCT U’s “Without You.”
Originally formed through the reality survival show No Mercy, Monsta X debuted in 2015 with their first EP, Trespass. They are known for bringing together the most aggressive elements of hip-hop, pop, and EDM, to deliver impactful musical performances.
Monsta X is still active today and has made their presence known in Japan and across the world with multiple albums and tours.
We recommend “MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,” “GOT MY NUMBER,” and their collaboration with Sam Feldt – “Late Night Feels.”
Formed in 2019, SuperM debuted with their self-titled EP on October 4. With their EP topping the US Billboard 200, SuperM became the first Asian artist ever to achieve this feat.
SuperM is made up of seven members from Shinee, Exo, NCT 127, and WayV – Taemin, Baekhyun, Kai, Taeyong, Mark, Ten, and Lucas.
With Baekhyun and Taemin enlisting in the South Korean mandatory military service in 2021, the future of the group is a little uncertain, but here’s hoping they find their footing.
Their best songs include “Tiger Inside,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Jopping.”
The seven-member Got7 debuted in January 2014 with Mark, Jay B, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. Their live performances caught the attention of fans thanks to their street dancing and martial arts tricking antics.
The members of Got7 focused on solo activity for about a year, but on May 6, 2022, they launched with a new logo and new social media accounts. Not surprisingly, a lot of excitement has been building ever since.
These are some hot tracks – “Hard Carry,” “Not By The Moon,” and “You Calling My Name.”
Formed in 2008, SHINee debuted in 2008 with their first EP, Replay. Today, they’ve earned the title of “Princes of Kpop.”
SHINee was originally a five-member group, but vocalist Jonghyun unfortunately took his own life in 2017. The four-member group – comprised of Key, Onew, Minho, and Taemin – branched out into the Japanese market in 2011.
In addition to sophisticated dance routines, SHINee has also been praised as the one of the best live vocal groups in K-pop.
“Replay,” “Orgel,” and “Our Page” are musts.
Wanna One was formed during the second season of Produce 101 in 2017. They launched with the following lineup – Park Ji-hoon, Kang Daniel, Kim Jae-hwan, Lee Dae-hwi, Ong Seong-wu, Lai Kuan-lin, Park Woo-jin, Hwang Min-hyun, Yoon Ji-sung, Bae Jin-young, and Ha Sung-woon.
Wanna One performed their final concert and disbanded in 2019. In November 2021, though, the group reunited for the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards, except for Lai Kuan-lin. It remains to be seen whether the group will be continuing their activity beyond 2022, but their official website has been taken down.
You can’t get enough of “Beautiful,” “Burn It Up,” and “Energetic.”
iKon started as a seven-piece boy group, and later settled into their current six-piece lineup – Song, Jay, Bobby, Ju-ne, DK, and Chan.
After being introduced and appearing in the reality survival shows WIN: Who is Next and Mix & Match, the group debuted in 2015 with their album Welcome Back. The group began branching out into the Japanese market in 2016 and even toured in Japan in July 2022.
Some of their greats include “What’s Wrong?,” “My Type,” and “Airplane.”
Pentagon is a multi-national boy group. They debuted in 2016 with 10 members, but this nine-member lineup is most current – Hui, Hongseok, Jinho, Yeo One, Shinwon, Yuto, Yan An, Wooseok, and Kino.
The group name comes from the idea that the “perfect” K-pop group is comprised of five key elements – talent, vocal / rap, dance, teamwork, and mind.
Pentagon is slated to release their fifth Japanese EP, Feelin’ Like, on September 14, 2022.
“Pretty Pretty,” “Shine,” and “Cosmo” are well worth a listen.
ATEEZ debuted with their first EP, Treasure EP.1: All to Zero, on October 24, 2018. The eight-member boy group consists of Hongjoong, Jongho, Seonghwa, Yeosang, Yunho, San, Mingi, and Wooyoung.
Their discography includes one album and nine EPs in Korean, and two albums and two EPs in Japanese. ATEEZ has earned the titles “Global Performance Idols” and “4th Generation Leaders,” even serving as official global ambassadors for Korea.
Some ATEEZ favorites include “Take Me Home,” “Say My Name,” and “Answer.”
Formed in 2008, 2PM debuted as a seven-piece Kpop boy group. Their current six-person lineup includes Jun. K, Chansung, Nichkhun, Wooyoung, Taecyeon, and Junho.
2PM has its beginnings in an 11-member group called One Day, which was split into 2PM and 2AM.
2PM took a hiatus in 2017 because of mandatory military service, but they released their seventh album, Must, in 2021, to signal their official return.
Here are some of their best moments – “Come Back When You Hear This Song,” “Go Crazy!,” and “A.D.T.O.Y.”
TVXQ (also known as DBSK or TOHOSHINKI depending on the region) had its beginnings in a five-member boy group formed in 2003. Today, they are a pop duo made up of Max Changmin and U-Know Yunho. The group found fame in the late 2000s, ultimately branching out into the Japanese market where they found widespread success.
TVXQ went on a one-year hiatus in 2010 due to legal issues and internal conflict but returned in 2011 as a duo. Still active today, they are considered one of Asia’s most successful musical acts.
We think you’ll dig “Mirotic,” “Catch Me,” and “Rising Sun.”
The six-member K-pop boy group Astro debuted in 2016 and became the best new Kpop group the same year. The members include Jinjin, Cha Eun-woo, Yoon San-ha, MJ, Moon Bin, and Rocky.
Astro has won multiple awards, has three full length albums, and even has two subunits that carry out their own promotional activities.
We recommend “Confession,” “Breatheless,” and “Hide & Seek.”
MBLAQ stands for “Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality.” Debuting in October 2009, MBLAQ features G.O, Seungho, Mir, Thunder, and Joon. The group released their eight mini album Mirror in 2015, but with Thunder and Joon departing the group to focus on individual activity in 2014, MBLAQ went on hiatus after their 2015 release.
They still left us with some great tunes like “Y,” “Stay,” and “Smoky Girl.”
VIXX is an acronym for “voice, visual, value in excelsis.” The Kpop group formed on the 2012 reality show MyDOL. They started out as a six-piece, but today they are a five-piece consisting of Leo, N, Hyuk, Ken, and Ravi.
Every aspect of their performance revolves around a concept to tell a cohesive story. Cool!
Here are some tracks to sink your teeth into – “Hyde,” “G.R.8.U.,” and “Error.”
Tomorrow X Together
Also known as TXT, Tomorrow X Together debuted quite recently in 2019 and found immediate commercial success. Their first EP, The Dream Chapter: Star, topped the Goan Album Chart as well as the Billboard World Albums Chart, and even charted at 140 in the US Billboard 200.
The group is made up of five members – Yeonjun, Taehyun, Beomgyu, HueningKai, and Soobin. They became the first K-pop group to perform at Lollapalooza in July 2022.
You’ll love “Valley of Lies,” “PS5” (with Alan Walker), and “Good Boy Gone Bad.”
The four-member Winner formed in 2013 and debuted in 2014. The four-member lineup includes Mino, Hoony, Jinu, and Seungyoon. The band has landed endorsement deals with the likes of Oreo, Adidas, and Kiehl’s, among others.
Group activities temporarily halted due to mandatory military service, but the group made a successful comeback in July 2022.
These tracks are well worth a listen – “Baby Baby,” “Really Really,” and “Empty.”
Debuting on December 6, 2017, kpop group The Boyz is made up of the members Jacob, Younghoon, Sangyeon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, New, Kevin, Q, Sunwoo, Ju Haknyeon, and Eric. Hwall was also part of the group until he left in October 2019. The Boyz have been consistently prolific with their releases and promotional activity since their debut.
Give these hot tracks a listen – “Giddy Up,” “The Stealer,” and “Right Here.”
Pop rock group Day6 got their start on September 7, 2015, with their first EP, The Day. The four-member lineup consists of Wonpil, Young K, Dowoon, and Sungjin. Day6 has found success in Japan and internationally.
Between military service and members taking hiatuses for personal reasons, the future of Day6 is unknown, but they have not officially disbanded.
Some of their key tracks are “I’m Serious,” “Letting Go,” and “I Wait.”
With a solid 10-year run, NU’EST originally debuted in 2012 as a five-piece – Aron, JR, Ren, Baekho, and Minhyun. Once their 10-year contract was up, three members left their agency, making their 2022 disbandment official. The members intend to pursue individual projects.
Their essentials include “Face,” “Not Over You,” and “Action.”
The award-winning BtoB (or Born to Beat) started out as a seven-member group, but consists today of the following six – Peniel Shin, Yook Sung-jae, Seo Eun-kwang, Lee Min-hyuk, Lee Chang-sub, and Im Hyun-sik.
BtoB debuted on M Countdown in March 2012, quickly following it up with their first EP, Born to Beat, in April 2012.
As with most Kpop boy groups, BtoB had to go on hiatus due to military service. They made their comeback in February 2022 with their third studio album, Be Together. The group continues to experience some turbulence, though, with multiple members testing positive for COVID-19. Their 10th anniversary performance was postponed as result.
Check out “Insane,” “Wow,” and “It’s Okay.”
As relative newcomers to K-pop, ENHYPEN formed as result of the 2020 survival competition program I-Land. They debuted in November of the same year, with their first EP, Border: Day One. The seven-member configuration includes Jay, Jake, Jungwon, Heeseung, Sunoo, Ni-Ki, and Sunghoon.
ENHYPEN’s biggest drops include “Let Me In,” “10 Months,” and “Give-Taken.”
Award-winning Block B made their live debut in 2011 on MTV’s Match Up! and KBS’ Music Bank. Their sexually provocative performances bought them some ill will, but in the long run, it seems to have paid off.
The seven-member group features B-Bomb, U-Kwon, Taeil, Jaehyo, Park Kyung, P.O, and Zico.
The controversial Block B is embodied by tracks like “Nillili Mambo,” “Be The Light,” and “H.E.R.”
Infinite made its debut as a seven-piece in 2010. With Hoya departing in August 2017, the group today consists of Sungjong, L, Sungkyu, Sungyeol, Dongwoo, and Woohyun. The group is well known for their exceptional live vocal performances as well as synchronized choreography.
Key tracks include: “Paradise,” “Back,” and “The Chaser.”
SF9 (or Sensational Feeling 9), is a nine-member boy group that debuted in October 2016. Members include Inseong, Zuho, Jaeyoon, Yoo Taeyang, Chani, Youngbin, Dawon, Hwiyoung, and Rowoon.
Standout songs via SF9: “Believer,” “Just On My Way,” and “Shine Together.”
B.A.P (or Best Absolute Perfect) formed in 2012 and debuted with the single “Warrior” the same year. The group was made up of Jong-up, Yongguk, Zelo, Himchan, Daehyun, and Youngjae.
The group had a strong run, all the way up to 2019. With multiple contracts expiring in 2018, the remaining members left their agency by February 2019. Jong-up says a reunion is well within the realm of possibilities.
These songs could change your life – “Warrior,” “Power,” and “One Shot.”
The six-member Shinhwa got its start in 1998 but they didn’t find success with their first album. Fortunately, their 1999 follow up, T.O.P. earned them commercial success. The group went on a four-year hiatus due to mandatory military service, but they had a successful comeback with 2012’s The Return, making them the first Kpop boy group to continue activity after their military service.
Shinhwa is also the longest-running K-pop boy band, and they are still active today.
They have an extensive catalog, not surprisingly, but here are a few songs you’ll want to check out: “Memory,” “Perfect Man,” and “This Love.”
A.C.E (Adventure Calling Emotions) debuted in May 2017. They originally cultivated a following busking on the streets of Seoul, specifically in the Hongdae district. They covered the choreography of groups like BLACKPINK, BTS, and EXO, which drew considerable attention.
A.C.E consists of Wow, Donghun, Jun, Kim Byeongkwan, and Chan.
Have a listen to “Goblin,” “Under Cover,” and “Callin’.”
VAV (Very Awesome Voice) debuted on November 2, 2015. Its current membership consists of Baron, Ace, Ayno, St.Van, Jacob, Lou, and Ziu. Since inception, the group released many singles and EPs, went through some membership changes, and of course, enlisted in mandatory military service. VAV, however, is still active today.
Give these a go – “Give Me More,” “Seniorita,” and “Thrilla Killa.”
The K-rock / Kpop band F.T. Island (Five Treasure Island) formed in 2007 and debuted the same year. The current lineup consists of vocalist Lee Hong-gi, bassist Lee Jae-jin, and drummer Choi Min-hwan. The group is still active today, but their future hangs in the balance due to military service and member departures.
These danceable tracks are sure to please – “Bad Woman,” “Take Me Now,” and “Severely.”
Madtown originally formed in 2014, and they debuted the same year with their first album – Mad Town. The group’s membership included Daewon, Lee Geon, Moos, Jota, Heo Jun, H.O, and Buffy. They announced their disbandment in 2017 during an episode of The Unit.
GD X Taeyang
GD X Taeyang (or GDYB) formed in 2014 with Taeyang and G-Dragon of Big Bang fame. Each member had a history of appearing on each other’s solo material, so they finally made the union official with the release of “Good Boy.” GDYB is technically active, though its members are obviously busy with Big Bang as well.
The six-member Oneus is made up of Seoho, Leedo, Ravn, Xion, Keonhee, and Hwanwoong. Their debut EP, Light Us, was released on January 9, 2019, but their pre-debut activity began as early as 2017. The group, however, was renamed from RBW Boyz to Oneus in 2018, so 2018 is considered their first active year.
You’ll love these tunes: “Twilight,” “Black Mirror,” and “Valkyrie.”
Seo Taiji and Boys
Active from 1992 to 1996, the legendary Seo Taiji and Boys was made up of Seo Taiji, Lee Juno, and Yang Hyun-suk. The group will forever be remembered for exploring and experimenting with a variety of Western music genres. Some even say they changed the South Korean music industry for good by popularizing rap and social critique.
All four of their albums are some of the best-selling albums in the region. The band has discussed the possibility of reunion, but Taiji himself has said he’s not confident the group’s live performance could live up to their concerts of the past.
Check out “Come Back Home,” “Dreaming Of Bal-Hae,” and “I Know” to see what the Boys were made of.
K-pop group Boyfriend found its beginnings in 2011, appearing on Mnet’s M Countdown the same year. Although they originally disbanded in 2019, they made a comeback on December 29, 2021, and they are still active today.
We’d recommend “Love Style,” “I Yah,” and “Janus.”
UP10TION (or Unbelievable Project 10 – also can be read “up tension”) debuted in 2015. As you’d expect, there are 10 members in UP10TION – Kuhn, Sunyoul, Gyujin, Hwanhee, Xiao, Jinhoo, Lee Jin-hyuk, Bitto, Kogyeol, and Kim Woo-seok.
They made their Japanese debut in 2017 and released their first full-length album and first world tour in 2018. Jinhoo went on hiatus and several other members tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020. UP10TION, however, has continued with new releases throughout 2021 and 2022.
Give these a listen – “White Night,” “Going Crazy,” and “Tonight.”
Originally known as Beast, Highlight started out as a six-piece group. The current lineup is made up of four members – Yang Yo-seob, Yoon Don-joon, Son Dong-woon, and Lee Gi-kwang.
They debuted with Best Is the B2ST in 2009 and followed it up with numerous releases. Relaunching as Highlight in 2017, the group has released four EPs since.
The group was originally panned for its lack of success, but they proved everyone wrong – they are now one of the most awarded groups ever.
Highlight went on hiatus for two and a half years to fulfill on their military service. They returned in May 2021 with The Blowing EP, and in March 2022, they released their fourth album, Daydream.
Check out “Good Luck,” “Shadow,” and “Fiction.”
Top Kpop Boy Groups, Final Thoughts
Which Kpop boy group is your favorite?
Be sure to show your appreciation for military veterans, because most members of boy groups have had to serve in the military, and many more will be called upon soon.