Over the years, like a good number of you I'm sure, I've been into HiFi - both car and home. The one thing I have found is that the weakest link as the years tick by are my ears. What sounds good to you in your 20's is very different from you 30's, 40's and 50's. Setup becomes increasingly more important than ever. Simple Hz adjustment to compensate for your changing ears is important as is source quality. If you have a good underlying system, and the DA is a pretty good base (upgraded) system, you can adjust it to your needs but what sounds good to you may well sound not so good to someone else. I can still tell the difference between an inexpensive ICE setup and a decent system, but with the right setup an average system can sound better than a good system that is not setup well or any system with a poor source sound -- let's face it, a car's listening dynamics are pretty horrible. Just like at home, a poor quality version of a track sounds terrible compared to a decent one. Like all advice in this space, spend the most you can afford and make sure to spend time to set it up to your liking including your source. As we all know... poo-poo in = poo-poo out. Check how your Spotify/etc is streaming..... are you downloaded with max quality... are you download cached etc.... did you you rip your music at poor bit-rate.
Like a number of people, I was not super impressed by the initial sound... but after some limited tweaking for my ears, it's now good for me. Without doubt, it is better and more adjustable for my ears than std fit. Is it worth 500 notes more? That will always be up to your own ears.