FOR the average PC user, making the move to multi-media is often a daunting process filled with numerous questions: Which sound card should I buy? What type and speed of CD-ROM best suit my needs? Speakers? Do I need to buy speakers? Several CD-ROM packages provide complete solutions. Sound Blaster EasyCD 16 from Creative Labs, producers of the popular Sound Blaster series of sound cards, is one such total solution. At $5,850 the package has a high-quality sound card, a double-speed CD-ROM drive, external speakers, a microphone and a start-up collection of CD-ROMs. Creative Labs is trying to present EasyCD 16 as an easy-to-install solution. On the outside of the box, there is a four-step installation overview which suggests that installation is as easy as popping the sound card into a 16-bit slot, plugging the drive into the card, closing the computer and inserting a CD. Of course, it is not that easy. Installation of the sound card on our test system created conflicts with already installed hardware, as can be expected when adding new peripherals to standard PCs. There was also some software-level tweaking that was required to get the sound card to produce computer generated sound (although the audio-CD capability worked from the outset). Even with these problems, the installation was not as difficult as it might have been. The components of the package itself are first-rate. The sound card is the Sound Blaster 16, Creative Labs' premium card which provides 16-bit CD-quality sound. Combined with stereo speakers, audio and computer-generated sound quality is good enough to suit most users. The card includes Advanced Signal Processor and Wave Blaster upgrade options in addition to MPU401 UART and Sound Blaster MIDI modes. The double-speed external drive, while not as fast as some of the newer (and more expensive) triple-and quadruple-speed drives, holds its own against the vast range of available double-speed devices. Meeting MPC2 compatibility requirements, the CD-ROM is a good choice for a basic multimedia system. Its slide-out tray, caddyless design is preferable to some of the older caddy-based designs and makes it easy to change CDs. The included CD-ROM collection provides some gems including Macromedia ACTION! for producing multimedia presentations, a special edition of Aldus PhotoStyler for those users who want to make the move to professional-quality image editing, Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia and Authorware Star. Another interesting package included is Creative VoiceAssist software which provides a voice recognition system using the included microphone. For more information, call distributor Apex Computronics on 865-3192.