It is the season of gifting be it because of Deepavali last week or Christmas and the wedding season coming up real soon. I for one like to find local Chennai brands to support and that’s how a Noizzy Box creation came into my life. Several months ago a friend said he had found the perfect gift for me and he was quite the gift giver so I was intrigued. What arrived at home was a speaker/radio that looked vintage and possibly antique yet it had Bluetooth and SD card slots and I was pleasantly surprised.
There was something very unusual about the sound from this speaker and I loved it. I couldn’t put my finger on it except that it sounded like the transistor radios from my childhood at my grandfather’s house. It also turned into quite the conversation piece at parties I hosted and that led me down the online rabbit hole to find out more about this speaker.
I found Noizzy Box’s Insta handle and several DMs later, discovered that this is the brainchild of a Chennaiite Neeraj Sablok. He describes himself as a ‘normal guy’ from a Punjabi family, born and brought up in Chennai. His Tamil is better than his Hindi and he is beyond proud of his roots and this city. He quit working for Flipkart to start this passion project and despite being advised to start up in other cities he was adamant it should be here in Chennai.
We bonded over our love for the city, music and all things vintage — that totally explained why they are the first ones to reinvent retro speakers in the country. Several others have tried to emulate them without much success. “I read somewhere that baby boomers (people born worldwide between 1946 and 1964) were smarter because they used to listen to music with an analog output and that helped their brains relax and boost their imagination — this stayed with me. Digital doesn’t give you the same feel and I truly believe old is gold. There is also a lot of joy in nostalgia and trips down memory lane, which is why I wanted to make speakers like this. It was a bonus that it made my family members very happy when I gifted them my earliest pieces,” he said.
Analog output for music is considered obsolete by most manufacturers and it’s hard to find the necessary parts yet Neeraj stuck to his vision and worked tirelessly to find a manufacturer and experimented with parts till it sounded just right.
You might think the hard part was over but he had no actual experience in selling and whenever he tried he faced the, ‘See, I would have bought it if it was a Mumbai or Delhi-based product’ mindset. However, social media and online retail proved to be a boon and the almost two-year-old startup is doing well. A certain birdie tells me that from top cops in the city to celebrities and diplomats, many have placed large custom orders for their end-of-the-year gifting with Neeraj. You heard it here first so now let the race begin to get on those lists and I better be on one of them. Fingers crossed!