It's been debated whether or not dampeners have any benefit for your arm. I think the general consensus, based on recent studies, suggests that the effect is very little or none (most likely, none). After trying every type of dampener on the market and surrounding my strings with dampeners on all sides, I've come to the same conclusion.
I can think of 3 valid reasons to use dampeners:
1) Mute the sound of the strings. The benefit is either that the user will be less distracted by variations in the sound of the strings or that the opponent will not be able use the sound to help him judge the type of shot that is being hit to him. I think most players didn't even know it was a problem until someone pointed it out to them.
2) Feel (subjective). Another poster commented on how he preferred the feel of his racquet with the dampener. Others will say that the feel is more muted with a dampener, and not better. Manufacturers are coming out with "custom" dampeners to dial in the preferred level of dampening. I think the benefit here is minimal at best. Again, the feel without the dampener probably didn't bother you until someone pointed it out.
3) Vanity. Notice how we are seeing dampeners in bright colors, smiley faces, and "cool" logos? This is definitely becoming a bigger factor. If people will buy them, why not?
Last edited by Ramon; 09-12-2012 at 08:59 AM.