It really depends on the kind of barbs. Tiger barbs pretty much go in a species only tank. I've heard Odessa barbs can be nippy, but have never had them.
There are lots of barbs that can go with other fish, though in my experience they do best in shoals of >6 mixed with other barbs in shoals of >6.
Gold barbs, rosy barbs, cherry barbs, checkered barbs and redline barbs (roseline sharks) all seem to be pretty peaceful, although active, if kept in groups >6.
What are your other fish?
(I just did some quick reading on Odessa barbs, and it seems like they are like all other barbs, best kept in groups of 6 or more.)