Better understanding dacs and amps?

The Whole set issue that have been popping up with the topping l30 have made me reconsider getting mine which broke replaced rather then refunded. I feel in retrospect that I didn’t know enough about why I was picking between the topping stack or the schiit stack or if they are even the right things for me at all. Outside of meeting general spec requirements, how can i better understand dacs and amps and what separates them? I know this is a rather broad question but I feel as if I am shooting in the dark when it comes to ideas like balanced outputs or other features.

(for suggestions on my own personal case, I use a mix of SHP9600, SHP9500, Philips X2, ATH-M50xs along with koss KSC75, KPH30i, and Porta pros. I use a V-mota boom pro currently and swap between Syba sonic dac/amp and my topping stack when im talking with friends / gaming or doing critical listening respectively. This swapping back and forth is not idea though and My future plans are to get a 6XX along witha Antilion mod mic wireless to avoid the issue of not having a mic port on my stack. however I do like the V-mota and if something like the Schiit fulla is better for someone in my situation i would not be apposed.)

Stick with Class AB Receivers or Integrated Amps… Cheaper class D’s aren’t there yet.
Get a $99 dollar Schitt or Topping DAC and call it a day…

Already keep in mind the law of diminishing returns and in today’s world that law is getting cheaper every year.

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