Welcome to Hifiguides Forums! Don’t mind the crazy… we don’t clean it up, but you get used to it around here.
Seriously though, two years ago, I was in almost EXACTLY your shoes. The best advice I can give you? RUN! Take your money and run far and fast away from this demonic hole that will suck all of the money out of your bank while you learn to listen to finer and finer details that keep promising you that the /next/ purchase will finally put the last piece into the puzzle, and that golden perfect sound that your brain can now perfectly imagine will finally envelop your ears in audio bliss.
Alternatively, a Magni/Modi stack, a DT990 pro, and you’re off to the races! The trouble comes in a couple of months when the upgrade bug starts biting. You get this itch in your brain that’s all like “this sounds so much better than I used to listen to… how deep does that go?” The problem is the answer is “deeper than your pockets” pretty much no matter who you are.
How are you connecting your shotgun mic? If it’s an XLR mic, most interfaces have a dac and head amp in them for monitoring, which should be a bit of an upgrade from your motherboard’s unit.
Most modern gaming mobos have a decent enough dac on board, they’re just crammed into a noisy environment.
Enough ranting and venting - serious advice time. Two basic rules tend to be true more often than not:
1-Generally speaking, separate devices built to do one job tend to be better at that job than the devices which do multiple things. For example, a dedicated dac in the $100-$200 range will likely be a better dac than what you find in an all in one dac/amp even in the $200-$300 range
2-The old adage of “you get what you pay for” rings pretty true, so long as you stick into the mainstream of manufacturers and products that have established themselves enough that the community knows who they are. You’ll see a lot of reviews and comments about products that “punch above their weight class” or “compete with units costing twice as much”, etc. don’t you believe them! I know it’s a popular way to express just how damn nice something can be “for its price” but that’s just the problem- the people saying these things are /almost/ universally speaking hyperbolically from the frame of reference of that price.
You’re just not going to find a $200 dac that sounds as good as a $2,000 dac. The same is true of headphones, amps, etc.
My best advice would be to think long and hard about your budget and goals, and view any purchases through that lens. There are so many great options in the entry level that it’s pretty easy not to go wrong.