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OK.  This post might belong in some sort of "Vintage" thread.  However, since I feel it's still relevant to present-day measurements, here goes...
Back in 2003, Greg Miller posted the following to the listserv (5/6/2003):

Anyone have any recommendations on Balloons for RT60 measurements. Seems to bait the question, of whether to just use the test tone and be done with it, but we still get occasional requests for a balloon to make classical plots of decay.
After some cajoling (see note below), I began a quest for information on balloons.  The beginning of the quest turned up this gem of a paper from David Griesinger.  Then, for a Lord of the Rings—Two Towers-ish long time, the quest turned up nothing.  However, I am proud to report that a little more than four years later, there is progress.  A recent perusal of online back issues of Sound: Its Uses and Control at the new ASA digital library turned up an article by B.G. Watters (of BBN) entitled, "The Sound of a Bursting Red Balloon."  (See volume 2, number 2, pp. 8-14.)  Anyone toting $1.99 bags of party favors from Walgreens along with their TEF20 and laptop may wish to give it a read.
The quest goes on.  More in 2011...
Note to Mr. Taipale: I still maintain that I read about "calibrated" balloons somewhere.  My quest will continue.

Best regards,

Jeff D. Szymanski, P.E.
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