There are two factors in pad stuffing, most people use stiffer materials such as cotton and foam (first time I've ever heard of anyone use rubber though). Most of the clarity you're hearing comes from stiffing the pads, and the increase in sound stage is actually an increase at around 14k to 16k, where you would experience the airiness in a recording. There may be a damping effect, but at most the change would be an bump at 1 or 2 k.
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