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January 11, 2024

The 4 Most Popular Vocode.dev Alternatives

John

Introduction

The open-source library of Vocode.dev can work well for specific voice-based applications. However not all use cases are well suited for them. In this article, we present 4 popular alternatives to Vocode.dev

Vocode’s open-source offering for AI phone calls and other AI voice use cases might initially appear attractive. After all, as a developer, you can quickly scan the code yourself, see if it makes sense, then integrate it into your application. There are a few drawbacks though to considering an open-source application.

Quality

Although the open-source community boasts a wide range of fantastic engineers, ensuring tools are enterprise-grade and ready for the real world requires serious and organized engineering effort. When left to the open-source community, products may become technically strong, yet they lose their direction in terms of the actual enterprise use cases they’re supposed to power. For example, Vocode’s framework doesn’t offer stringent guardrails, observability, or testing of their AI agents, meaning enterprises can’t prevent, spot, and stop bad interactions between their customers and AI.

Scalability

Libraries like Vocode.dev are great for quick side projects, hackathons, and other small applications that people want to build on the fly. That said, because their open-source offering lacks extensive infrastructure and optimization for enterprises to build on, output can degrade as volume increases.

Large surface area - lack of depth

Given that Vocode tries enabling a wide swath of voice-based applications, from WhatsApp to browser-based applications and Zoom, the lack of focus prevents any offering from providing customers the comprehensive package they need. Many times the engineering lift to make any single implementation is massive, creating a recurring maintenance burden that saps time from teams that build on top of it.

With these limitations in mind, let’s explore a few popular alternatives.

Vocode.dev alternative 1: Bland AI

Bland AI is a popular alternative to Vocode.dev. It's a platform for AI phone calls that offer the same capabilities as Vocode along with increased enterprise-grade tooling.

You can use Bland’s API to dispatch and receive AI phone calls, flexibly, for any use case, just like Vocode. But thanks to Bland’s focused effort to make AI phone calling easy to integrate and scalable for enterprises, Bland proves significantly faster to integrate while delivering faster and higher-quality conversational outputs that can grow for any enterprise than Vocode.

When to choose Bland AI over Vocode.dev?

Here’s when Bland might be a better choice than Vocode.dev:

  1. You need to deploy AI phone calls into an enterprise-grade setting (not a hackathon project)
  2. You need high conversational quality, reliability, and scalability for your AI phone calls
  3. You have high-security requirements - and need to make sure malicious actors cannot see or access the source code of the services your company relies upon
  4. You want to maximize your engineering team’s time spent delivering on features - rather than maintaining work built on top of an open-source library

Key info on Bland AI

Scalability: With Bland, enterprises can send hundreds of thousands of phone calls simultaneously, without any degradation of speed or quality.

Enterprise quality: Bland has a track record of enabling enterprise use cases from mass data collection to sending updates and reminders to polling information from companies in international markets.

Superior phone performance: Bland’s AI phone call offering is hyper-optimized, enabling sub-second responses and excellent conversational outputs that drive better customer experiences and more overall effectiveness in the real world.

Get started with Bland

Vocode.dev alternative 2: Air AI

Air.ai is an AI sales agent tool that can make phone calls on your company’s behalf.

Instead of offering a large surface area of integrations, Air focuses on sales use cases specifically, making it a popular choice for small businesses and other “mom and pop” shops that lack any technical expertise or large datasets to enable personalization for their customers.

Advanced features like observability, guardrails, and testing are all missing, making Air a tough sell for enterprises that care about tracking the quality of conversational output and their AI’s interactions with customers.

When to choose Air.ai over Vocode.dev?

It might make sense to use Air.ai instead of Vocode.dev in the following cases:

  1. You operate a small business and need a no-code way to connect with your customers
  2. You have limited data about your customers, and need your AI to try and collect this info and be generally personalizable on calls
  3. You already have limited customer engagement options and just need a tool that gets the job done - even if the quality isn’t very good

Key figures on Air.ai

Pricing: Air keeps their pricing hidden, but users have reported they charge starting at $30,000/yr. Additionally, according to some Redditors, Air also charges for initial demos, preventing users from seeing how the product works until they’ve already paid.

Integrations: Air offers limited integrations, making it difficult for users to connect their AI phone calls to their CRM, customer support tools, or other internal tech they use to track customer engagement.

Vocode.dev alternative 3: Goodcall

Goodcall is a tool that enables small businesses to train an AI agent to answer phone calls, help customers, and generate additional revenue. It’s a no-code platform - in comparison to the dense technical requirements necessary to work with Vocode.dev.

Once again, Goodcall is useful for a very specific and defined use case, for non-technical small businesses and other “mom and pop” shops that simply need a hand. Its functionality though is once again limited to the specific use case, meaning that enterprises lack the scale, integration, quality, and flexibility an API provides, preventing them from integrating Goodcall into their existing stack.

The simple interface Goodcall provides is great for early-stage companies looking to ship out a fast number that customers can call for additional information, but Goodcall’s offering starts losing value as companies become just slightly larger. Once again, because Goodcall doesn’t offer any integrations whatsoever - at least via an API - it becomes very limited and difficult to use in any real-world setting.

When to Choose Goodcall instead of Vocode.dev?

Here’s when you should consider using Goodcall over Vocode.dev:

  1. You’re a small business that wants to add an AI to answer the calls you get.
  2. You need a simple tool - and don’t mind the lack of flexibility.
  3. You’re okay with degraded and slow conversational quality because your customers would otherwise go to voicemail.

Key figures on Goodcall

Pricing: Goodcall charges $49/month, very expensive for the small-scale businesses that use them (especially when services like Bland price purely by usage)

Customers: It’s not clear how many customers Goodcall has - they seem to be a relatively early-stage startup. Hard to find information about existing users, etc. and no logos are present on their website.

Vocode.dev alternative 4: Voiceflow

Voiceflow’s platform for creating AI agents provides a no-code interface. The simple set of templates and documentation is great for medium-sized businesses and even ecommerce brands that want a collaborative environment to create voice assistants.

Like most no-code platforms though, the main drawbacks of Voiceflow are around the lack of extensive configurability, testing, and observability, preventing larger enterprises from onboarding onto and scaling up on the platform.

At a certain scale, most companies prefer to keep their tooling in-house, causing API-first companies to win out. Still, for companies that want a fully no-code solution, and have generally lower requirements, Voiceflow can be a fantastic choice.

When to choose Voiceflow over Vocode.dev:

Voiceflow can be a great alternative to Vocode.dev in the following cases:

  1. You want to quickly add a voice agent to your website - and the amount of tooling doesn’t matter
  2. Your primary focus is speed and collaboration with teammates on the same platform - than it is quality and conversational effectiveness

Some stats about Voiceflow

Templates: Voiceflow offers ten different templates that small businesses and e-commerce brands can use to create voice assistants

Pricing: Voiceflow charges teams $185/month, while becoming even more expensive for enterprise (have to book a demo to find out).

Conclusion

Choosing the right AI phone calling tool is a tricky decision most enterprises eventually must make. Choosing the option that is most scalable, reliable, and high quality is an important consideration.

While Vocode offers a large selection of different integrations, the lack of focus on any dimension creates gaps, forcing heavy engineering efforts to integrate, and decreasing overall scalability and quality. Alternatively, platforms like Bland - that solely focus on building infrastructure for AI phone calling - offer deep testing, observability, and advanced speed and quality, providing a better experience for developers and customers alike.

We hope this overview of Vocode.dev and its alternatives has been helpful to you. If you’re still unsure which AI phone calling tool is right for you and your enterprise, you should visit Bland AI’s discord community to connect with their community of developers for help and recommendations.

See you there!

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