Looking for some recommendations for a newbie

Hey all, I’ll try to keep it as short and simple as I can.
Pretty new to the world of audio but I’ve dipped my toes in a while back in the past.

My daily driver pair of ATH AG1X have started to get a tad too beat up and worn for me to subject them to any more years of daily use. With that, I took it as an opportunity to potentially upgrade my daily audio.

My initial plan was to buy a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770s and a mod mic but after upgrading, I’m now looking into trying to up my setup to a better level. ( I also ordered an ifi zen dac/amp combo as I saw it highly recommended as a good starter option.)

I’d love some suggestions for headphones and a dac / amp combination for my own personal mid-range end-game.

Ideally the headphones I’m looking for would be great for music and decent for gaming. I’m looking for something open-dynamic to provide a bit of the opposite of the dt770s and because sound leak isn’t a problem while at home.

In terms of the genre of music I listen to, I tend to bounce around genres a lot with the only ones I nearly never listen to being Metal and Country. My most listened to is probably Pop, Jazz and some light EDM stuff

For the dac/amp I’d like to spend less than $250-300 USD.
For the headphones I’d like to not go over $1000

I’ve been window shopping around looking at the HiFiMan Sundaras, LCD-2x Classic, LCD-X (A nearby local shop has them for $1200 and that is still pushing my budget a bit ) but I have no idea which would fit my situation best. I’m sure there are others out there that I’m also not aware of so please let me know if you have any recommendations! I’d love any and all suggestions as I’m still fairly new to this audio world and am intimidated by how deep it seems to go.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post!

So I think with what you are after, for the amp situation, you can use your zen dac as your dac, and grab something like an asgard 3 and be very well off for your amp and dac, would be a bit warmer leaning but very pleasing and also decently resolving. Depending on the headphone going for like an archel 2.5 pro is also a really nice pick imo

For the headphones, what do you like about your 770 and what would you want to change? Do you have a signature you are leaning towards?

Good to hear that the zen is decent enough to be used as a standalone!

I had also been recommended the Drop + THX 789 amp as a possible upgrade as well. In the whole dac/amp area I have no idea what makes the difference between them besides price. Is there a huge noticeable difference between amps and dacs?

There’s a bit I like about the 770s, firstly they’re super comfortable which is really nice and their isolation is good ( probably others out there that are better) but good enough for what I was looking for at my initial price range. In terms of how they sound, with being such an amateur and over my head in this field I feel like I’m second guessing any opinions or thoughts I have on things since I don’t feel like I fully understand all the terminology and or sounds that I should be expected to hear. I feel like they’re decently clear, and for closed dynamic they have more soundstage than I expected. I’m definitely not what I would classify as a basshead or someone who prioritizes bass, but the dt770s have decent enough bass for my liking which was a nice bonus.

To answer about signature I feel like it ties in somewhat to how I answered above. I’m not really sure that I’ve tested and thoroughly listened to enough different pair of decent headphones to understand the differences or my own preferences enough to distinguish. My only foray into the world of audio prior was in 2014 I bought a pair of HD598’s after seeing them highly recommended. I really enjoyed them but only used them for a very brief period as I was living in very close proximity to 3 others and the open dynamic were a problem. I had ended up exchanging them and getting a pair of Ath-m50 which I really liked at the time, though they don’t jump out to me as terribly special anymore.