Yes – Mirror To The Sky – First single “Cut from the Stars” Review (Qobuz Hi-Res, Apple Dolby Atmos)

Yes has had a long and successful career with many successful studio albums and memorable stage performances. Their 1983 album “90125” is often considered one of their most memorable albums, which produced hits like “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. After a break of a few years, the band started to release new albums again, with “The Quest” in 2021 that received positive reviews for its return to a more progressive sound. The song “Cut from the Stars”, released in 2023, is the first single from their upcoming album “Mirror To The Sky”, which will be their 23rd studio album.

For this review, you will find the stereo verion from Qobuz Hi-Res in 24 bits 96 kHz and the Apple Music Dolby Atmos

First we will analyze each edition in detail (technical and qualitative analysis), then we will compare the successive editions with their dynamics and assign a final score, and you will be able to listen some samples.

The streaming versions may evolve over time, those presented here correspond to the version tested at the date of publication, or update of the review.

Waveform and dynamic

The waveform represents tracks of this song with very nice dynamic, DR12 for Qobuz Stereo, and especially for the wavefrom of the Dolby Atmos Binaural version with a DR16.

Spectrum comparisons

The Spectrum allows to check the tonal balance of the music (balance between treble, medium and bass sounds) and to detect process that may have been carried out during the recording, the mixing, mastering or manufacturing phases. It is also possible to detect frequency interference issues.

The balance of the spectra between the stereo version and Dolby Atmos are very different, with an attenuation in the low end of the spectrum (green zone) and in the high end of the spectrum (yellow zone) for the binaural version, favoring more the midrange in this Atmos mix with Binaural rendering. The yellow arrow shows that the Dolby Atmos version shows less high frequency due to the use of the Dolby Digital Plus encoding.

Spectrogram comparaisons

Spectrogram is another representation of frequency versus time of a track. For each channel (right and left), horizontal axis represents time, and the vertical axis represents frequency. The amplitude is represented by the intensity (brightness) of the color of each point in the image.

The spectrogram of the Qobuz version shows that the signal rises slightly above 24 kHz as indicated by the yellow arrow.

The spectrogram of the Dolby Atmos Binaural version is similar to the Qobuz stereo version, but with differences due to a different mix and the conversion to binaural, we also notice that the maximum frequency is around 20 kHz (yellow arrow) due to the Dolby Digital Plus encoding.


Spatialization allows you to define the sound distribution of the music on all the channels. The spatialization indicator and the description of the graph are described here.

The spatialization is fully exploited with sounds and chorus that are distributed on the different channels with positions that are not static throughout the song.

Spazialisation od the track “Cut from the Stars” which perfectly exploits the channels

Spatialization : ●●●●●ooooo (5.3)

Summary, scoring and Samples

Ed 1: Qobuz Hi-Res – 2023

Very beautiful restitution of piece with a beautiful dynamics and a precision of the whole of the instruments. The stereo is well present and one can go up the sound level without feeling compression of the dynamics, thank you.


  • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4)
  • Bandwidth: ●●●●● (5)
  • Restitution: ●●●●o (4)

Sample : ”Cut from the Stars” 24 bits 96 kHz:

Sample 1 Ed 1: Qobuz Hi-Res – 2023
Ed 2: Apple Music Dolby Atmos – 2023

Listening to the Dolby Atmos version in 7.1.4 brings a spatialization of the music with instruments and choirs that exploit the space at 360 degrees. The music has been thought to exploit the sound space, very nice spatial mixing. The binaural listening brings more spatialization to the headphones with a wider sound space which generates a low spectrum in retreat compared to the stereo mix.


  • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5)
  • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4)
  • Spatialization: ●●●●●ooooo (5.3)
  • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5)

Sample : ”Cut from the Stars” in Dolby Atmos Binaural for headphone listening:

Sample 1 Ed 2: Apple Music Dolby Atmos Binaural – 2023

I do not hide you my surprise to the listening of this song, I expected a piece without energy, without dynamics as we find a lot currently, but it is not the case, we find a beautiful dynamic with DR12, we hope that all the album will follow the example of this piece. The Dolby Atmos version is very well done, with a spatial mix that literally immerses me in the music by exploiting all the channels in 7.1.4 listening. If you have the possibility, listen to this piece in this format to realize the work which was made in spatialization in coherence with the music.

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Detail of the ratings :

  • Dynamic :
    1. Significant dynamic compression, DR less than 7
    2. Compression of the present dynamics, DR between 7 and 9.
    3. Correct piece DR >=10
    4. No dynamic compression (DR >12), dynamic rendering
    5. No dynamic compression, high DR and very dynamic sound rendering
  • Spectrum :
    1. Spectrum cut and less than 15 khz
    2. Spectrum cut at 15 khz
    3. Spectrum not conforming to the original and cut (not HD) or original but limited bandwidth (but less than 20 kHz)
    4. Spectrum conforming to the original (but not HD)
    5. Spectrum conforming to the original with HD resolution (higher than 24kHz)
  • Surface noise (only for vinyl):
    1. Continuous audible noise
    2. Audible surface noise except on passages with a high level of noise
    3. Reduced surface noise, barely audible on low level crossings
    4. Low surface noise, very good quality
    5. Very low surface noise, no defects, almost inaudible on the quiet passages (exceptional disc)
  • Spatialization :
    • Between 0 and 5 for 5.1 or 7.1 channels configuration
    • Between 0 and 10 for Atmos configuration (7.1.4)
    • For more information on spatialization, you can read the article describing this parameter here.
  • Restitution :
    1. Low quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    2. Average quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    3. Quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Good record.
    4. High quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Very high level disc.
    5. Maximum quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Exceptional disc.

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